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sanctuary city

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Ohio is one of 11 states that’s joined a lawsuit to reinstate President Donald Trump’s executive order threatening funding cuts to so-called “sanctuary cities.”

During his first year in office, President Trump has taken a strikingly different approach to immigration policy than his predecessors.

"We haven't had an administration that saw immigration primarily as a burden and a threat to the country," said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. He thinks most Americans disagree with the White House about that. Still, Selee thinks the administration is "driving the conversation in new ways we hadn't seen under Republicans or Democrats before."

The Trump administration cannot withhold federal money to punish local governments for their noncompliance with immigration authorities, according to a ruling by a federal judge in California.

In an order announced Monday, Judge William Orrick permanently blocked the policy, issued as one of President Trump's earliest executive orders, ruling it was "unduly coercive" and violated the separation of powers.

Three churches in Ohio are among the dozens nationwide who are openly providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants who face deportation. This weekend, the Beacon Journal’s Doug Livingston profiled two of those churches – one in Akron and one in Cleveland Heights. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with Livingston about the sanctuary church movement and the differences between it and higher profile – and more controversial -- “sanctuary cities.”

Ohio Interfaith Immigrant and Migrant Justice Coalition / Facebook

Edith Espinal, the first undocumented immigrant offered sanctuary by a church in Columbus, was scheduled to depart on Tuesday for Mexico, her country of origin. Instead, Espinal decided to remain in the U.S. and is asking that Ohio leaders visit and hear her story.

Edith Espinal speaks to an audience at Columbus Mennonite Church.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Earlier this month, Edith Espinal became the first undocumented immigrant to be publicly granted sanctuary in Columbus. A temporary change in Espinal's case allowed her to return home, but now she is once again facing deportation. 

Philip De Oliveira / WKSU

After prayers in both English and Spanish asking for guidance for local and national leaders, nearly 50 members of the Forest Hill Presbyterian Church and surrounding community stood on the steps of the Cleveland Heights chapel in support of Leonor Garcia.

Edith Espinal speaks to an audience at Columbus Mennonite Church.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

The same day the Trump administration announced the end of the DACA program, ending protections for many young immigrants, the Columbus Mennonite Church announced it would grant sanctuary to a local mother facing deportation.

Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing back against the federal government.

On Monday, the city is filing suit against the Department of Justice, which announced it would withhold millions of dollars in police grant money from so-called sanctuary cities.

Emanuel is suing because he says new rules for a federal crime-fighting grant go against the Constitution and the city's values.

"Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate," Emanuel said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is narrowing the scope of an executive order on so-called sanctuary cities.

A federal judge in California last month blocked a key part of that order, reasoning that the Trump administration had overstepped by threatening to yank federal money from those places.

Esther Honig / WOSU

An executive order from Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther back in January condemned arresting or denying public services to people based on immigration status. On Thursday, Columbus City Council held a hearing to consider turning that order into law.

Saying that Attorney General Jeff Sessions' threat to strip billions in federal grant money from so-called "sanctuary cities" is illegal and unconstitutional, the city of Seattle has sued President Trump and his administration, in a lawsuit that names Trump, Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.

The Ohio Statehouse
Flickr / Creative Commons

City officials in Ohio would be prohibited from adopting "sanctuary cities" protections for immigrants in the country illegally and held criminally liable for any crimes committed by such immigrants under a proposal headed to Ohio's legislature.

Cincinnati Council has formally passed a resolution making Cincinnati a sanctuary city.  

The designation is not a legal one, but more of a promise to stand with immigrants and refugees following President Trump's announced travel ban.  

Esther Honig

As protests against President Trump's refugee ban and immigration freeze continue across the country, the city of Columbus announced it will look to step up protections of undocumented residents by studying "sanctuary cities" as examples.