Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order Tuesday to set up a state office dedicated to helping legal immigrants settle in Ohio and find jobs.
“We want them to come to Ohio. We want them to bring their skills. We want them to bring their families. And we want them to bring their hearts because they are such an important part of the energy here in the Buckeye state. So, we are trying to make it easier for all of them,” Kasich said.
Roughly a half-million legal immigrants call Ohio home.
Kasich often talks about being the grandson of Croatian immigrants and his grandmother who spoke no English.
Once again, Kasich on Tuesday called for securing the border, making the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA — the program for children who arrived with undocumented parents — permanent law; and pursuing a path for legal residency for the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country.
“At a time when Americans are all worked up about immigration, I believe immigration is a good thing,” he said.
Governor since January 2011, Kasich ran for the GOP nomination for president in 2016 and remains a sharp critic of President Trump’s immigration policies and Congressional gridlock over reform.
“Wouldn’t it be great if Congress could actually do something, that they could actually begin to resolve this problem of immigration? I mean, we’re not going to take 11- to 12-million people, put them on a yellow school bus and ship them to the border. We need to get them into a position where they have some sort of status,” Kasich said. “But they just can’t seem to do anything because everything is so political down there, polarized.”
He noted that some House members are trying to get enough signatories to force a vote on DACA. When asked if he had contacted Ohio’s Congressional delegation to urge them to sign on, Kasich said he had not. “I’m doing it right now, so you can write about it.”