CLEVELAND—Yesterday, February 6, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and state Representative Candice Keller (R-Middletown) announced their support for a bill that would outlaw cities from declaring themselves as “sanctuary cities,” and would prohibit cities from limiting cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. This bill has not yet been introduced to the Ohio General Assembly.
“Immigration enforcement is a federal issue, not a local or state one, and federal law does not require cities to help with immigration enforcement,” said Mike Brickner, Senior Policy Director at the ACLU of Ohio. “This bill would attempt to punish localities and city officials for not violating constitutional rights. This is extremely counterproductive and makes our communities less safe by pitting law enforcement against immigrant communities."
This proposed legislation comes in response to both Columbus and Cincinnati taking steps to identify as sanctuaries. Additional cities and municipalities may adopt and defend policies that will keep immigrant communities safe.
“This bill is extreme. It would dole out civil and criminal penalties to local officials, but also make our communities less safe. Local law enforcement should be building relationships with immigrant communities, yet this would discourage victims of crime or concerned community members from coming forward and working with police,” Brickner said.