Over 300 people attended “Sanctuary for Immigrants 101: Theory, Data, and Action” hosted by COWC. The gathering educated community members about current immigration law, enforcement, and sanctuary policies (see link below). The energy in the room was palpable with local residents ready to move forward and make Columbus a sanctuary city for all.
On January 25, President Trump signed an Executive Order threatening to withhold federal funding for cities established as “Sanctuary Cities”; municipalities with policies protecting immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws. Sanctuary cities provide safer space for our immigrant communities by not living in constant fear of deportation and family separation.
The City of Columbus, while in the past having made only broad statements supporting immigrant communities, has never declared itself as a Sanctuary City nor introduced policy to hold us accountable to these communities. In response to Trump’s order, COWC began circulating a petition to Mayor Andrew Ginther gathering over 1,700 signatures in less than a week to “Tell Mayor Ginther and city council to stand up to Trump and take action that doesn't just symbolically defend immigrants but transforms our city's policies to stop targeting us for imprisonment, risk of removal, and state violence at the hands of police and aggressive immigration agents.” Mayor Ginther responded on Monday (Jan 30) announcing he and City Council are taking concrete steps towards sanctuary-like policy for Columbus.
While this is good news, we need to hold Mayor Ginther and City Council accountable to follow through with his local executive order with a timeline, resources, and involvement of impacts communities. Our resolve is stronger than ever to hold our elected officials to their word.
What can you do next?
*Please feel free to view and distribute the slides from the presentation