Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther Signs Executive Order on Immigration
Following through on a promise made earlier this week, local officials gathered on Friday to witness the signing of an executive order by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther that supports and reaffirms the city’s pro-immigration and pro-refugee resettlement policies.
“This reinforces and expands what we have been doing for decades,” stated Ginther. “It is also consistent with the policies of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. It upholds the rule of law and the diversity that defines our city. The future of Columbus is big enough, bright enough and safe enough for everyone.”
The signing of the local order was done in direct response to the executive order signed a week earlier by President Trump that temporarily bans immigration to the United States from seven countries that primarily have Muslim populations. The move made by the President has sparked national controversy, which has led to protests and demonstrations across the United States including recent events at the John Glenn International Airport and Ohio Statehouse.
The situation with the Presidential order continues to evolve on a day to day basis. The order was blocked by a federal judge yesterday, and the Department of Homeland Security stated today that the ban has been suspended.
Locally, the Mayor’s new executive order will continue to make Columbus a place that welcomes refugees and immigrants by continuing to offer refugees equal access to city services, by not allowing law enforcement to detain people based on immigration status, and by not allowing local taxpayer resources to go toward enforcing federal policies.
The full text of the local executive order is below:
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2017-01
By: ANDREW J. GINTHER, MAYOR
Reinforcing and Expanding City Immigration Policy for All Columbus Residents
WHEREAS, Columbus is America’s Opportunity City and that means opportunity for all who reside here; and
WHEREAS, for over 200 years, the fabric of our city has been woven by immigrants and refugees from around the world; and
WHEREAS, Columbus neighborhoods – from German Village to American Addition and Highland West to Northland – reflect the waves of migration and immigration throughout our history, and those neighborhoods make us stronger as a city; and
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of municipal leaders to protect the well-being and safety of all people residing in their cities; and
WHEREAS, our city will be best served by reinforcing and instituting strong public policies that respect the rights of all individuals, regardless of national origin or immigration status, and promote strong police-community relations; and
WHEREAS, whether we are native born or New American, we all have a responsibility to actively engage in the success of our city; and
WHEREAS, Columbus’ future is big enough, bright enough, and safe enough for everyone; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Andrew J. Ginther, Mayor of the City of Columbus, declare and institute this Executive Order in furtherance of the foregoing:
1. It shall be policy of the City of Columbus to actively support, to the greatest extent practicable, the placement or settlement in this jurisdiction of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. City staff are hereby authorized and directed to cooperate to the greatest extent practicable with federal and state officials in such placement or settlement.
2. No city department or employee may use city moneys, equipment, or personnel for the sole purpose of detecting or apprehending persons based on suspected immigration status, unless in response to a court order. In furtherance of this policy, no city office or employee shall request information about or otherwise investigate or assist in the investigation of a person’s immigration status unless a warrant exists, a criminal violation was reported, or an arrest was made.
3. No city department or employee shall deny equal access to city services based on immigration status unless required by law or court order. Such denial of access shall include, but shall not be limited to, soliciting immigration status in any application for city services; predicating the provision of services on the immigration status of any person; or delaying the provision of services based solely on immigration status.
4. It shall be the policy of the City of Columbus to vigorously oppose any effort to require the use of local taxpayer resources for the enforcement of federal immigration policy.
This order shall be in full force and effect after my signature is affixed to this document.