Mayor Cranley declares Cincinnati a sanctuary city

Published: Jan. 31, 2017 at 12:50 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2017 at 7:50 PM EST
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley Monday officially declared the city of Cincinnati a sanctuary city saying we are "in the middle of a national moral crisis."

Cranley was joined by dozens of community and faith based leaders at City Hall.

"This city has been for years and will remain a sanctuary city," said Cranley.

The mayor's remarks come after the Friday signing of an executive order by President Donald Trump which temporarily halts the refugee program from seven predominately Muslim countries in the Middle East.

Trump said his executive order is not a ban on Muslims, but the executive director of the Cincinnati Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) disagreed with Trumps assessment.

"(It's) patently false," said Karen Dabdoud. "(Trump's) order covers seven Muslim majority countries. Anyone in those Muslim majority countries who is not a Muslim is exempted from the ban. That makes it a ban on Muslims only."

Representatives from the Jewish and Christian communities were also at the news conference to voice their concerns.

"We need to protect all our brothers and sisters of all faiths who have lost family, home and country," said Archdiocese of Cincinnati spokesman, Tony Stieritz. "They are children of God and are entitled to be treated with dignity."

When asked if he was concerned Trump will pull federal funding from sanctuary cities, Cranley replied, "I don't believe it. I just don't believe it."

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune said cutting off federal dollars would be illegal.

"It is against the law to deny federal funding to communities for taking positions like this," said Portune. "Immigration issues like deportation are civil issues. They're not criminal law (and that's) another reason why it is illegal to deny federal funding," said Portune.

Cities rely on federal dollars to help fund their annual budgets.

Cincinnati City Councilman Charlie Winburn is chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee said in a statement that he has some concerns about the proposal making Cincinnati a sanctuary city before it gets to a vote.

"I'm not interested in putting federal funding for Cincinnati in jeopardy," said Winburn.

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