YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio legislators are in an ongoing battle over sanctuary cities, as both Democrats and Republican are making proposals this week on immigration.
Sanctuary city is a general for cities or counties choosing not to partner with officials to enforce federal immigration laws.
Republicans in Ohio want to ban them, while Democrats want to make Ohio a sanctuary state.
Ohio state Rep. Candice Keller, a Republican from Middletown in Southwest, announced a bill to hold elected city officials criminally liable if undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities kill or harm someone.
Both Columbus and Cincinnati have traits of being sanctuary cities.
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who is also running for Senator in 2018, sent a fundraising email out earlier this week saying:
“Sanctuary cities need to stop. Period. Right now across the country liberal extremists are flouting the rule of law and making our nation less safe.”
Mandel also said that “as a US Senator, I will not stand for this disregard of our laws and our borders.”
Two Democatic lawmakers in the state responded, proposing Ohio should become a sanctuary state. The state reps say Ohio should welcome immigrants.
Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni said these decisions should just be left to the federal government.
“We have to focus on jobs, we have to focus on schools, we have to focus on safe communities and we have to focus on the opiod epidemic,” he said. “Those are issues state legislators have to focus on.”
Schiavoni says both proposals would have a difficult time passing.
Ohio Governor John Kasich has said in the past he opposes the creation of sanctuary cities in Ohio and across the country.