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Mayor and City Council President Renew Support for Refugee Settlement in Columbus

Walker Evans Walker Evans Mayor and City Council President Renew Support for Refugee Settlement in ColumbusPhoto by Walker Evans.
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Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther joined Columbus City Council President Zach Klein in announcing this afternoon that the City of Columbus would continue forward in its effort to accept refugees and immigrants, defying the executive order issued by President Trump last Friday.

“Our immigrant population is part of the fabric of what makes Columbus so vibrant,” stated Ginther in a release issued this afternoon. “They are our neighbors. We must not turn our backs on them, now or ever.”

Klein addressed the announcement at the start of this evening’s City Council meeting, stating that Columbus will be conducting research on Sanctuary City status, and how best Columbus can continue to play a role in welcoming all citizens to the city. Klein described Trump’s executive order as “un-American, un-Christian and likely unconstitutional.”

“This undermines safety, separates families, and pits people against one another,” added Klein.

City Councilmember Elizabeth Brown introduced a resolution tonight that recognized the importance of immigrant and refugee communities, which was unanimously adopted by City Council.

“We are proud to live in a diverse city in a diverse nation,” Brown stated. “Our message to our refugee and immigrant communities is that we see you and hear your stories and value your lives.”

Ginther stated that he will be issuing an executive order later this week, which will support efforts to resettle refugees in Columbus and to prohibit the detention of refugees without an arrest warrant or the witnessing of a criminal act. The order will also prohibit city funding for the use of investigating or apprehending individuals based on immigration status.

Local advocacy group The Ohio Revolution encouraged supporters to rally outside City Hall this evening to support Sanctuary City status and to attend the council meeting to show solidarity behind the cause. Council chambers were nearly at seating capacity with guests attending tonight’s meeting.

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