Mayor of Columbus signs executive order extending support to refugees

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Mayor Andrew Ginther signed an executive order reinforcing and expanding immigration policies in Columbus on Friday.

“To all of you I say, Columbus is your home,” Ginther said to applause in a room full of leaders in the city’s immigrant and refugee populations.

PDF: Mayor Ginther’s executive order on immigration

The executive order consists of four points, according to Ginther’s office:

  • The City of Columbus welcomes refugees and immigrants.
  • The City will not use city offices or employees to detain people solely based on their immigration status.
  • The City will offer the same city services to immigrants and refugees that are offered to all of our residents.
  • The City will vigorously oppose any effort to require the use of local taxpayer resources for the enforcement of federal immigration policy.

The order is a meaningful symbol and an encouraging sign for local immigrants.

“If you can get a few strong leaders and a few cities to do something like that, it can change the landscape,” said Nicol Ghazi of Muslim Family Services. “I hope and pray the Mayor and Council stay strong and I hope they know that we recognize that they have our back and we will have his back,” Ghazi said.

Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Good spoke about immigrant students expressing fear and concern about the uncertainty about their futures.

Good said the schools are committed to protecting and educating all students.

“All children have the constitutional right to equal access regardless of their immigration status or the status of their parents,” Good said.

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty attended the mayor’s signing ceremony and promised to fight against President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven mostly-Muslim countries and suspending refugee programs.

“I am not going to be afraid to use my voice against executive orders that don’t match the core values and principles we stand for,” Beatty said.

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