To the editor:
Earlier this year, Ohio’s Republican Senator Rob Portman and his colleagues demonstrated their commitment to bipartisan leadership by confirming President Joe Biden’s nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While Senator Portman and Secretary Mayorkas come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, they were able to find common ground in their commitment to American stability and security, along with their desire to see America’s broken immigration system undergo much-needed reforms.
Senator Portman should keep the momentum going by encouraging his Republican allies to support the Dream Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
More than half a million Ohioans are immigrants. They pay $2 billion in state and local taxes while adding $15 billion to Ohio’s economy each year. Around 14,000 of those immigrants are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, meaning they came to the U.S. as children and have little-to-no connection to another country. DACA recipients alone add $235 million to the state GDP.
The Dream Act would allow DACA recipients to apply for a permanent place in the country they have called home for most of their lives. As a farmer, I support the Farm Workforce Modernization Act because it would give a pathway to residency to the millions of essential worker immigrants working long hours on America’s farms and ranches as essential workers. The U.S. needs these immigrants to survive, and our Republican leaders, like Senator Portman, should prioritize these bipartisan bills in the Senate.
Christopher R. Gibbs