Ohio legislation would ban, criminalize 'sanctuary cities'

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - City officials in Ohio would be prohibited from adopting "sanctuary cities" protections for immigrants in the country illegally and held criminally liable for any crimes committed by such immigrants under a proposal headed to Ohio's legislature.

A bill announced Monday would define and outlaw sanctuary jurisdictions and declare sanctuary policies contrary to federal law and state interests.

The term currently lacks definition, but generally refers to cities that instruct police to avoid inquiries about immigration status and decline immigration officials' requests to detain defendants awaiting deportation.

The Ohio measure comes as U.S. cities, including Cincinnati and Columbus, have enacted certain immigrant protections in the wake of President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration.

"We do have a number of restaurants in the area. We also have a lot of farming in the area and these farms really use a lot of immigrant laborers, so there's more than you might think here in Washington County," said Sheriff Larry Mincks, Washington County Sheriff's Office.

State Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate, says he'll make the prohibition a priority.

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