COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – This month, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, is celebrating both its ninth anniversary and the Supreme Court’s one-year anniversary in protecting the DACA Program.
However, some are not calling this a celebration, but a moment to send a larger message to congress.
Zakaria Fara is originally from Germany. He said as a DACA recipient, he is frustrated with where things stand.
“It’s really hard to just fight for what we have,” Fara said.
According to the American Immigration Council, 4,400 people have been approved for DACA in Ohio since 2012. Currently, 3,800 of them remain in the state. All of them have one goal: equal opportunities in America.
Fara explained every DACA recipient’s story is different. He chooses to share his in hopes of making a bigger impact. For him, DACA has given him the opportunity to have a driver’s license and an opportunity to work here.
“When people hear ‘immigrants,’ especially in the United States, they think [of] the south border,” Fara said. “My family didn’t come here from the America’s at all. That doesn’t mean my story is any less valid.”
Robert Cohen, who is an attorney at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, doesn’t understand why Congress hasn’t implemented a more permanent solution.
“There are things that the Democrats and the Republicans can’t agree on, but there are things like the Dream Act that they do seem to agree on,” Cohen said.
He wants Congress to look at the long-term picture.
“I think one of the misconceptions and one of the arguments against immigration is the concept that the economy is a zero-sum game,” Cohen said.
What Cohen means by this is some people believe this means fewer jobs for people who are from the United States. However, he argued it’s quite the opposite.
“The reality is if I have a job and I’m spending money, that’s income for you,” he said.
Fara hopes his story will start a conversation among lawmakers in Columbus and people who live here too.
“It’s our legislators here who also make the decisions,” Fara said.