Cincinnati Council Member PG Sittenfeld is working with other council members and the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center (his father is a member of the board) to create a “Rapid Response Network” that protects immigrants in the Cincinnati area from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
He lectured Trump prior to his Cincinnati visit in 2016, telling then-candidate Trump that Cincinnati is “a community that values good manners and civility.” In the next breath he called Trump a “demagogue,” a “buffoonish carnival barker,” and promised him that Ohio would not be foolish enough to vote for him and would tell him “you’re fired” come November.
Cincinnati did give Hillary Clinton the nod, but Ohio chose Trump by nearly 500,000 votes.
Rapid Response Networks (RRNs) have been blooming in progressive cities around the United States as a backlash against the enforcement of immigration laws by the Trump Administration. Many sanctuary cities in California have RRNs, such as San Diego, Oakland and San Francisco. Rochester, New York has an RRN, and so does the state of Colorado. They warn illegal immigrants of pending ICE raids and provide legal and other assistance for them as well.
The three main responsibilities of ICE officers are: immigration enforcement, investigating illegal movement of people and goods, and preventing terrorism. ICE duties include locating and arresting criminal illegals, such as violent MS-13 gang members. Thirteen were arrested in Columbus in 2017.
When asked whether or not Sittenfeld was concerned that his plan would prevent ICE from tracking down and apprehending criminal illegal aliens or human traffickers, the city councilman did not respond. The Cincinnati Mayor’s Office did not comment either.
State Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown) had some words to share with The Ohio Star, though. Keller sponsored House Bill 169, which requires state and local authorities to cooperate on immigration issues. Her joint sponsor was State Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg). Antani’s parents immigrated legally to the United States.
“This is just another reason the sanctuary city bill needs to be put in place,” Keller said. “We must stop these people from using their political platform to endanger children who have been or are being trafficked for sex. The motion [Sittenfeld made in Council] encourages the flow of illegal drugs in a state that is suffering greatly from the opioid epidemic.”
“This city councilman is endangering the citizens of Cincinnati and the tri-state area for his personal political agenda,” she continued. “Democrats and Republicans both understand the danger of this kind of anti-child, pro-criminal proposal. ICE saves lives. This motion is anti-law enforcement and puts young women and children’s lives at risk. It’s so awful – it’s heartbreaking.”
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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star. Follow Beth on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “PG Sittenfeld” by PG Sittenfeld. Background Photo “Cincinnati City Hall” by Niagara66. CC BY-SA 4.0.