At the close of last week’s Highland County Board of Commissioners’ meeting, I asked Commission President Shane Wilkin if Highland County might become a “sanctuary county.”

The honorable board members didn’t give a formal answer to the rhetorical – and tongue-in-cheek – question. Suffice it to say there’s sufficient common sense among Wilkin and fellow commissioners Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton that it’s highly unlikely they’ll be introducing “sanctuary county” legislation. (As for another local public body – known for the occasionally outrageous – who knows?)

Meanwhile, this week, Republican Ohio Treasurer and U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Mandel along with State Rep. Candice Keller of Middletown announced legislation to stop sanctuary cities in Ohio.

"Our top priority must be keeping Ohio families safe from radical Islamic terrorists and other threats,” Mandel said. “Sanctuary cities are an out-of-touch, misguided policy that snub their nose at our nation's laws and undermine the security of our communities. Sanctuary cities will only empower our enemies, not deter them."

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley quickly responded by accusing Mandel of “fear-mongering,” as the Queen City recently became the Sanctuary City.

If passed, the proposed legislation would prohibit sanctuary jurisdictions and declare that sanctuary policies are contrary to federal law and state interests, and are contrary to the safety and security of the people of Ohio.

The legislation – which probably won’t get much traction – would also re-affirm the state's obligation to uphold and obey federal laws and would hold accountable elected officials who create a sanctuary jurisdiction criminally and civilly liable for crimes committed by illegal aliens in sanctuary cities.

“Cincinnati recently became the latest in a string of cities across the country that has decided to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration by unilaterally declaring themselves sanctuary cities,” Mandel said.

The political clamor over sanctuary cities has come about after President Trump’s initial executive order last month to “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism.”

By the way, the southern border fence was approved by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush 11 years ago. The pol$ just conveniently failed to build and enforce it.

For some background, let’s take a look at how the nation's laws have evolved on immigration.

• In 1921, the Emergency Quota Act established quotas aimed at preserving the “ethnic and racial” composition of the United States. Limitations prevented newcomers from each country to 3 percent of that population in the U.S. according to numbers in the previous census.

• In 1924, the Immigration Act/National Origins Act lowered the quota percentage to 2 percent, and added provisions to limit total immigration to 150,000 yearly by 1927. By 1929, the percentage quotas ended in favor of a proportional system based on the U.S. population that allowed no more than 150,000 immigrants into the U.S. yearly.

• In 1952, the Revised Immigration and Nationality Act continued the national origins formula with proportional quotas, but removed racial restrictions. (This was vetoed by President Truman but overridden by Congress. Read Truman's rationale at

• In 1965, the immigration system, as defined by the National Origins Act, ended, and all discriminatory quotas were abolished, with immigration to the U.S. opened to all persons from all countries. Since 1965, the end result, some may reasonably argue, has been tens of millions of people entering the U.S. illegally without fear of repercussion.

In fact, there's even a "birth tourism" industry. See:

When President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006 into law on Oct. 26, 2006, he stated: “This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform."

That proved to be total nonsense. The bottom line: Either we have secure borders or we don't. And if we don't, who determines which American communities look like Dearborn, Mich. and which ones don't?

Now, according to data provided to the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as of June 25, 2016, there were 953,806 aliens in the U.S. with outstanding orders of removal, 182,761 of whom were convicted of crimes in the U.S. That might make a nice sized sanctuary city right there.

Of the 953,806 aliens who have final orders of removal, 242,772 come from countries that refuse to take back their nationals, with 123,098 coming from the 23 countries that ICE deems to be “recalcitrant,” and 119,674 from the 62 countries that ICE deems to be otherwise uncooperative. Of the 242,772, 57,029 were convicted of criminal offenses, or roughly 30 percent.

The fact that Trump is employing a little common sense on national security seems lost on many, including Mayor Cranley.

Yet, when Obama enacted similar restrictions, there was nary a peep from his liberal supporters or the mainstream press. Sorry for the obvious repetition.

Speaking of the mainstreamers, I received my weekly CJR (Columbia Journalism Review) email today. It featured a CJR report by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky entitled “Beyond the parachute: Newsrooms rethink centralized mode.”

A few months after the media shock of the Trump victory, CJR writes about “rethinking the parachute model.

“The media’s collective misfire on the 2016 election has led to an acknowledgment of our own ‘media bubbles,’” Friedman-Rudovsky said in a piece for CJR. “Noting the concentration of journalists in New York and other coastal cities, she writes that the lack of journalists from national outlets who live and work in the heartland – and understand the cultural complexities of those regions – is part of why public trust in the media has diminished.”

No, er, shinola, CJR and JF-R.

Friedman-Rudovsky writes that “One out of every five media jobs was located in New York City, Washington, D.C., or Los Angeles in 2014, up from one in eight 10 years prior, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data crunched by The Washington Post. Journalists outside major coastal cities say that the damage of geographic concentration goes beyond a disconnect with swaths of the population. It also contributes to a lack of diversity and may help explain the public’s diminishing confidence in our work.”

In other words, maybe the mainstreamers should take a look at the 2016 presidential election from a national county-by-county red/blue map. Those political colors will closely mirror the metropolitan media concentrations.

Meanwhile, respect for law and order and national security – as well as a little country common sense – still prevail in the heartland. Welcome to OUR sanctuary.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.