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Sanctuary Cities in Ohio May Lose Federal Funds

Historic Oberlin College Building
On its website, Oberlin College says it accepts applications from all students, regardless of immigration status.

Cities like Oberlin, Lorain, and Dayton could be affected by President Trump’s executive order threatening to cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities.

Oberlin City Councilman Kelley Singleton says it’s too early to tell what impact the president’s order would have on his city. The extent of the funding cuts, as well as the federal grants involved, aren’t clear. And according to Singleton, most of Oberlin’s federal funding is distributed by the state.

“Is the federal government going to say, ‘OK, Ohio. Here’s your money, but none of it goes to Oberlin’? Is that how it’s going to work? I just don’t see how that’s going to be possible."

Singleton also notes that Oberlin’s police force is never asked to disregard federal law. He says it’s up to the feds to determine whether someone is in the country illegally.

Oberlin City Council passed a resolution in 2009 which prohibits Oberlin police from asking witnesses or victims of crimes for their immigration status. Singleton says that practice will continue.

“We were a stop on the Underground Railroad, so we’ve actually been a kind of sanctuary city for over 200 years. So this is nothing new for us," Singleton said.