In his latest series of executive orders, President Trump cracks down on so-called sanctuary cities and counties. The new order threatens to strip federal grant money from localities which act as a haven for undocumented immigrants.
24-year-old Jose Mendez is a dreamer who is temporarily protected from deportation through a 2012 law. His parents came to Cleveland without documents when he was just 7-years-old. His two younger siblings were born here.
But now he worries that a series of immigration-related executive actions signed by President Trump will leave his younger siblings motherless.
“If they deport my mom then two American citizens are going to be left without a mom…who is going to take care of them?” asked Mendez.
One order in particular Mendez finds most alarming is the one regarding sanctuary cities. “We will strip federal grant money from sanctuary cities and states that harbor illegal immigrants,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced today.
The order refers to localities identified as ‘sanctuary cities,' a term used for communities that have policies that protect undocumented immigrants from deportation.
The cities of Lorain and Oberlin have been referred to as informal havens. Both cities cite their obligation to protect and serve all residents, while other cities use different reasoning.
“What a lot of people miss is that enforcement of immigration laws is a federal matter,” said ACLU Ohio spokesperson Gary Daniels.
The ACLU of Ohio says some cities don’t want to use local resources to enforce federal laws. “Jails are not reimbursed by the federal government for detaining people, for some cities and counties this can get quite expensive,” explained Daniels.
Mendez also worries it will lead to racial profiling. “Our brothers and sisters from Puerto Rico will be also targeted, and they are fully American citizens,” said Mendez.