Columbus is now officially a safe haven for immigrants, no matter whether they are in the country legally or illegally. A few weeks ago, the Columbus Council passed an ordinance putting Mayor Andrew Ginther’s earlier executive order protecting immigrants into law.
Normally we don’t write about what happens in Columbus, but this action could have long-range effects in central Ohio, which includes Union County.
Although the legislation didn’t call Columbus a sanctuary city as other cities and areas in the U.S. have done, it basically is the same. The language used in the ordinance is quite similar to that used in sanctuary city laws throughout the country. Apparently, Columbus is trying to avoid the loss of federal funds that has been threatened against sanctuary cities. However, a thorn bush by any other name is still a thorn bush.
We find it very strange that Columbus would call itself a safe haven. It is anything but that. Crime has risen there dramatically in the past decade or so. Murders in the city have numbered around 100 each year for the past several years. So far in 2017, that count is 64, and there are still more than six months remaining. If that pace continues, a new record could be set.
But murders aren’t the only evidence of serious crime. Shootings in which the victim doesn’t die occur nearly every day, and armed robberies, burglaries and rapes are commonplace. Just last week someone was shot in the Columbus Metropolitan Library. So to tell immigrants that Columbus is a safe haven and a refuge is a lie. To lure them to come to the city is a mistake.
Those immigrants who are in the U.S. legally are, for the most part, not the problem. Some of them are legitimately seeking to become citizens, and many have jobs that produce income for their living expenses.
In general, that is not so with illegals. A substantial number of them look to the government for their subsistence, in the form of food, medical care, housing, clothing and other items. Some are criminals, either before entering the country or after arriving. It is this group which often seeks the protection of sanctuary and safe haven cities. And it is this group that causes the most problems wherever they locate.
So the fact that Columbus declares its doors open to all immigrants may sound nice and decent, but it may well cause unfortunate repercussions down the road. Serious crime, which is already prevalent, could increase dramatically with illegal immigrants flocking to the city. And if that happens, adjoining counties and nearby cities, like Union County and Marysville, could suffer from an overflow of crime seeping outside the boundaries of Columbus.
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