Jorge Elorza, the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, has promised that the city of Providence will “stand with” its undocumented workers; it is time for Mayor Ginther and the members of Columbus City Council to do the same. With Republicans poised to take control of the federal government, the governments of large, democratically-voting cities like Columbus may be one of the last legitimate checks on Donald Trump’s power to fulfill his campaign promise to deport millions of people—family members, coworkers, friends, and students of Americans just like you and me—from the United States.
According to the ACLU, Columbus is home to about 95,000 undocumented people. Unfortunately for those people and for their family members, coworkers, friends, and teachers, the ACLU has also called Ohio “the worst state among the 50 and the District of Columbia”, due to its lack of laws in effect that might otherwise support their health and well-being.
Columbus Ohio has the opportunity to channel the thousands of voices who stood in protest at the state capital last Thursday night into a movement that makes a real difference in the lives of the populations who stand to lose the most under a Donald Trump presidency. It is true that Columbus could lose access to federal funds if we become a “sanctuary city.” However, if the people of Columbus stand firmly in support of our friends and neighbors—including the undocumented ones— then we will show that the courage of our convictions is not something to be ignored, that love truly does trump hate, and we may be an example for those elsewhere whose city government may, like ours, be one of the last things standing between Trump and a policy of mass deportation in the USA.