Cincinnati becomes a sanctuary city... sort of

Welcome to Cincinnati, or the Queen City as it’s known to the locals. That “welcome” message may be taking on an even broader meaning after a contentious City Council meeting this week resulted in a resolution to declare themselves a “sanctuary city” in defiance of federal policies on immigration. Or did it?

That’s certainly what it sounded like from the name of the resolution, but the Mayor seemed to be doing a lot of sidestepping and tap dancing around the definitions in terms of what precisely it means. (USA Today, some emphasis added)

Cincinnati City Council officially cast the votes needed to make Cincinnati a sanctuary city, a decision that means city police won’t enforce federal immigration laws against people here illegally.

Fair enough. So you’ve decided to defy the law and, as a result, place your federal funding in jeopardy. Well done! We could use the money to get started building the wall anyway. But wait! The mayor doesn’t seem to see things quite the same way.

The designation is symbolic, with Mayor John Cranley vowing the city would not violate federal law but will stand with immigrants. It came after almost two hours of public comment on both sides of the issue.

Okay, now I’m just confused. So you won’t be breaking the law? And this statement about “standing with immigrants” is almost meaningless these days because so many people in the media and government are conflating the terms “immigrants” (who are here legally) with “illegal immigrants.” So which is it? The Mayor later offered some clarification.

“What we are doing is standing with immigrants,” said Cranley, who made the announcement Monday. “We have a very good vetting system in this country.”

Um… not to deflate your balloon here, Mr. Mayor, but illegal aliens aren’t “vetted” at all. Legal immigrants who follow the rules and frequently become citizens are vetted. So you’re saying that the resolution means you’re standing with our current, legal immigration system? If so, you really didn’t need to pass a resolution. We’re all on board with that idea already.

The meeting was reportedly quite heated at times with attendees on one side shouting “traitor” at the announcement and cheering when Donald Trump’s name was mentioned. Others were wailing for the plight of the illegal immigrants and singing songs. But in the end, it all seems to have been for show with no legal or procedural ramifications of any sort. The City Council clearly doesn’t want to see the billions of dollars in federal funding they receive annually disappear, but the Democrats hold a majority on the council so they had to get out there and do something to poke a finger in the new president’s eye to keep their base happy.

Much ado over nothing, as it turns out. And with that, Cincinnati’s residents can go about their business as usual, secure in the knowledge that their elected officials have issued a “strongly worded statement” on the subject, so all’s right with the world.