Written By: Ishton W. Morton – February 11th, 2017
Currently, John Cranley is mayor of the City of Cincinnati and is running for re-election in 2017. However, recently there has been an overwhelming amount of negative in the media regarding the City of Cincinnati.
These negatives tends to be directed at John Cranley probably because of his wife’s parents and may have provoked these types of response.
Subsequently according to Cranley who believes Cincinnati has provided welcome to my family. He said; “My wife Dena’s parents emigrated from Jordan a generation ago in pursuit of the American Dream. Along with his brothers, my late father-in-law started Gold Star Chili, and this country became his own.”
Apparently, when Cranley made the statement rendering Cincinnati a Sanctuary City the intent was not to violate any law(s).
Actually, obtained from a Legal Opinion Issued by the City Solicitor related to Federal Funds and President Trump’s Executive Order on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 suggested that being a Sanctuary City, is not a violation of Federal law nor does being a Sanctuary City mean that City officials or law enforcement will conduct themselves in a manner contrary to federal law. The Cincinnati Police Department has been lauded time and time again by the Justice Department for excellence in policing and, though we have a great working relationship with our federal partners, it is their responsibility and not ours to enforce federal laws, including immigration.
Complicating matters, on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 the City Council of the City of Cincinnati passed a resolution declaring Cincinnati to be a Sanctuary City for the purpose of ensuring that the City remains a welcoming and inclusive city for all immigrants to live, work, or visit. In the same time frame, President Trump issued an executive order stating the Executive Branch’s intention to “ensure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal funds, except as mandated by law.”
However, because the City is not in violation of President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration enforcement, there is no basis under law or under the Executive Order itself for withholding federal funding from the City of Cincinnati.
Furthermore, the City’s resolution declaring itself a Sanctuary City is the exercise of constitutionally-protected free speech, which the City will defend as it seeks to uphold the fair and just application of the law within its boundaries.
Accordingly, it is said that President Trump’s Executive Order acknowledges these facts (1) Calling for the hiring of 10,000 additional Federal immigration enforcement officers to enforce Federal law and (2) Allowing local law enforcement to opt in to enforcement of Federal immigration policies. Given these variables; why is there so much confusion pertaining to this matter.
Given these variables Cranley said; “Given that Mr. Spicer said that only cities that violate federal law will lose federal funds, and the City of Cincinnati has not and will not violate federal laws, the City is not in jeopardy of losing federal funds.
However, Cranley’s presupposition about the city of Cincinnati is very clear. He believes the city has benefited enormously from German immigrants who’ve settled Over-the-Rhine, to an Indian immigrant who was just named president of the University of Cincinnati. Immigrants have built and renewed Cincinnati time and time again, enriching us all in the process. These are some of the ideas that Cranley was alluding to in his statement “Cincinnati a Sanctuary City!”
However, approximately three years ago, with the contribution from business and community leaders, we launched the Immigrant Friendly Task Force, which has taken concrete steps to make Cincinnati a more welcoming city for immigrants. It is safe to say this process does not include any illegal.
Conjunctively, the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce has started COMPASS, which is a resource center to help people who have moved here to work, that will be instrumental in helping local businesses recruit the talent they need to compete. From Procter & Gamble to 84.51˚, our city’s oldest and newest companies create jobs for new Americans alongside lifelong Cincinnatians to build a better community for all.
Likewise the Catholic Charities has continued to provide support for refugees who have been vetted by the government and are fleeing unspeakable suffering and violence. I saw the aftermath of some of these horrors firsthand. In 2014, with an Orthodox Christian mission, my sister-in-law and I visited Syrian refugee camps in Jordan.
However, as pestilent, or virulent or other violent situations of with similar hardships transpired in countries that are primarily of Black People the same fundamental level of urgency is not given.
Syrians are fleeing unspeakable violence and oppression and their plight should remind us of the ideals etched into the base of our Statue of Liberty. Of course, Syrian refugees should continue to be properly vetted, but if the United States halts all Syrian refugee settlement, it will ultimately be viewed historically in the same way as the refusal to settle Jews during the Holocaust.
Nonetheless, Cranley continue to say; “I hope our nation will keep the spirit of the Statue of Liberty alive. Our city will continue to applaud and support organizations like Catholic Charities that are local embodiments of the Statue of Liberty, offering hope to those fleeing suffering and yearning to breathe free.”
He added, “America is great because it has always welcomed – more so than other nations – the world’s greatest dreamers. Dena and I are thankful to raise our son in a community that welcomes, rather than shuns, the immigrant, as it welcomed my Irish great-grandparents, as well as my Jordanian in-laws. In Cincinnati, everyone has a seat at the table.”
He ended by saying; “as your mayor, I promise to continue to support these efforts to ensure that Cincinnati remains a welcoming city for all.”