Summit County Council on Monday night (Jan. 30) passed a resolution opposing President Donald Trump’s executive order limiting immigration and refugee resettlement. The resolution was sponsored by County Executive Ilene Shapiro, Council President John Schmidt (D-2) and Council Member At-Large Liz Walters.
The resolution was approved by a 9-2 vote, with Council members Ron Koehler (R-1) and Gloria Rodgers (R-3) casting the dissenting votes.
“Diversity in our country should be celebrated, not subjugated,” said Council President Schmidt. “We hope this resolution will send a message that Summit County welcomes and supports our immigrant community.”
On Jan. 27 President Trump signed an executive order suspending entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barring Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocking entry into the United States for 90 days to citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
In 2015, Summit County Council passed a resolution declaring the county an immigrant-friendly, welcoming County, and supported the County’s participation in the Welcoming Cities and Counties Project. Summit County committed to accept 700 refugees in fiscal year 2017 before President Trump’s executive order.
“"The American culture has a long and proud history of expanding to find room for new cultures and traditions," said Councilwoman Walters. "Whether we were born here or not, or whether we speak English or are just learning it, what matters most is that we, foreign and native born alike, all want the same thing – the freedom to speak, to pray, and to raise our children with hope. To suspend the resettlement program, and ban certain nationalities from our country, is a dramatic departure from these ideals,”
President Trump’s executive order has been met with opposition from Governor John Kasich and Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown.
Governor Kasich has called for a “more thoughtful approach consistent with our values,” Senator Brown has said that the targeting of refugees is “wrong, will not make America safer, and may actually undermine our long-term security,” and Senator Portman has said that “we are more welcoming than any country in the world and we should continue to be so.”
Protesters expressing opposition to the sweeping executive order have demonstrated by the thousands throughout the United States since its enactment in several major American cities and airports, and the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the federal government in order to prevent the continued discrimination against the immigrant and refugee populations attempting to enter the United States.
The Clerk of Council was directed to forward a copy of the Resolution to President Trump, Senators Brown and Portman, and all members of the U.S. House of Representatives representing portions of Summit County.