Cincinnati and Columbus are the latest to adopt policies that stray away from enforcing immigration laws, essentially making them so-called sanctuary cities for immigrants and refugees.
But one state official wants to stop those cities in their tracks. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow explains.
Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel is throwing his support behind a proposed bill in the House that bans local governments from declaring themselves “sanctuary cities.” Mandel says this can prevent acts of terror.
"It’s been the exact pattern in cities throughout Europe and what we’re trying to do here is keep cities in Ohio and cities in America safe from radical Islamists.”
Mandel, who’s running for U.S. Senate, listed examples of violent crimes perpetrated by undocumented immigrants.
But none were acts of terror and citizenship status wasn’t listed as a motivation for any of the crimes. There's no word on whether the bill is a priority for Republican House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger.
The mayors of Cincinnati and Columbus are striking back at Mandel's assertions. In a written statement Democratic Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley calls Mandel’s argument a straw man for his political ambitions and said he’s demonizing refugees in the process. Through a spokesperson, Democratic Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther asserted his executive order issued last week that police will not detain people solely based on the immigration status *is* in keeping with federal law. And added "Regardless of one's views on immigration, it is reprehensible to use Ohio criminal law in an attempt to shut down differing opinions on this issue." The spokesperson also says "unlike Treasurer Josh Mandel, Mayor Ginther will not use fear as a reason for discrimination and will not pick and choose who he protects based on religion or national origin."