Immigration News: Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich Confronted by Latino Child on DACA and DAPA
Immigration activists confronted Ohio’s Republican governor John Kasich this week during a trip to Iowa, asking him about his state’s lawsuit against DAPA and extended DACA. The governor is believed to be a Republican hopeful and was pressed on his stance on immigration.
An undocumented mother named Maria and her 11-year-old son Andrew along with members of America’s Voice Ohio branch confronted Gov. Kasich, having traveled to Iowa in an attempt to talk to him about President’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA).
Maria came from Peru more than a decade ago and overstayed her tourism visa. Her son Andrew was born in the U.S. and she applied for DAPA; however, Ohio is one of the 26 states currently suing the Obama administration over the president’s executive orders.
In the amicable exchange, Andrew asked Gov. Kasich on his opinion on DAPA and DACA. He then went on to explain his family’s situation. Gov. Kasich told Andrew, “We’ve got a long way to go.
“We’ve got to know who is here,” he continued explaining to Andrew. The kid then explained his mother had been in the U.S. for more than 13 years to which Gov. Kasich said, “You’re such a nice lady; we don’t want you to leave.”
When Maria continued pressing the Ohio Republican, he asked to bring some of Ohio’s Voice activists to his office as well as her family to talk about the issues. Maria explained they had been previously denied appointments, but he instructed an aide to take their names.
“We’re glad that Gov. Kasich agreed to meet with Ohio families who are impacted by the state’s lawsuit, but we’re expecting more than a meeting. We need concrete action,” said Lynn Tramonte, director of Ohio’s Voice, in a statement.
“The lawsuit against the President’s programs has taken a heavy toll on thousands of families across our great state, and as constituents, we deserve the opportunity to tell him about the damage this is causing and enlist his support in removing our state from the suit.”
However, speaking with the Cincinnati Examiner, a spokesperson for Gov. Kasich said three activists had stopped by the office in May but only dropped off a petition and did not ask to schedule an appointment.
America’s Voice fired back, releasing an email exchange with the governor’s office in which they denied their request for a meeting.
In a second statement, Ohio’s Voice’s Tramonte criticizes the Kasich administration for its attack on the organization in spite of the governor’s attempt to bridge the divide.
“Our interaction with Gov. Kasich in Iowa was encouraging, but then we were slammed in the face by his staff back home. The bottom line is, Ohioans shouldn’t have to travel to Iowa to talk to their governor about a state lawsuit that affects their lives so dramatically,” she said.
“We expect the Governor to make good on his commitment to meet with us in Ohio soon, and we expect him to articulate a clear policy position that backs up his goal of ‘keeping families together.’”
According to the Cincinnati Examiner, the Kasich administration explained it was the attorney general who sued the administration rather than the governor’s office.
"The attorney general doesn't need our blessing to sue," spokesperson Rob Nichols said. "What they asked to do cannot be done constitutionally, but we took the time to have our attorney go out and meet several times with them."
Because of the lawsuit, DAPA and extended DACA are currently on hold. The next hearing will happen before a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 10.
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