Senate hopeful Josh Mandel makes provocative claim linking terrorism and sanctuary cities

Josh Mandel wants to unseat Sherrod Brown
Posted at 12:06 AM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 09:18:23-05

The Republican who hopes to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in 2018 said radical Islamic terrorists could try to infiltrate Ohio in a whole new way. State Treasurer Josh Mandel made the provocative, and unproven claim, that so-called sanctuary cities could be aiding terrorists.

Several Ohio cities, including Lorain and Oberlin, have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy involving people’s immigration statuses, often to erase fears of deportation if they tried to report an emergency to authorities.

Mandel is throwing his support behind possible legislation from Candice Keller (District 53-Middletown) that would prohibit sanctuary jurisdictions and fine and jail local elected officials for turning a blind eye to federal immigration laws if an undocumented immigrant in their jurisdiction commits a crime.

"Our top priority must be keeping Ohio families safe from radical Islamic terrorists and other threats,” Mandel said in a statement.

But according to Pew Research, of the 11 million or so immigrants in the U.S. illegally in 2014, just about 140,000, or a little over one percent, were from The Middle East. Most immigrants in the country illegally were from Mexico and Central America and are not Muslim.

Additionally, The CATO Institute put an American’s odds of being killed by a undocumented immigrant terrorist at an “astronomical” one in 10.9 billion.

Over the phone Monday, Mandel repeatedly pointed to terrorism fears in Europe as justification for his stance.

In response, a spokesman for Senator Brown sent News 5 a statement that read in part, “Taking support away from Ohio police and firefighters only makes our cities less safe.”