In opposition to President Donald Trump’s plan to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, Oberlin city council adopted a resolution Monday night urging Congress to preserve the policy.
DACA protects young immigrants called “Dreamers” who came to the United States as children.
The program gives permission for those children, some who have grown now to adulthood, to live and work in the county, and provides them with a path to permanent legal status.
According to the Oberlin resolution, repealing DACA put nearly 800,000 people are at risk of immediate deportation.
That threatens to reduce the nation’s GDP by about $433.4 billion over the next 10 years.
The resolution reaffirms the city’s strong historical support for the rights of non-citizens and immigrants. Councilwoman Sharon Soucy said the federal government often puts council in a position where “things have to be done at the local level” if change is going to happen.
“These children are basically being threatened with having the rugs yanked out from underneath them through no fault of their own,” councilman Scott Broadwell said. “The whole nonsense that seems to be coming out of the White House every time we turn around — it’s absolutely mind boggling to me.”
Resident Steve Bolt said humans cannot be used as bargaining chip. He noted that 5,500 DACA recipients live in Ohio, with some attending Oberlin College.
“These 800,000 young people are suffering the greatest anxieties,” he said. “(They’re) facing the possibility of being returned to homes they never knew, to speak a language they’ve never spoken, and to find a family that no longer lives there.”
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.