Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez concedes to Trump’s immigration rules on sanctuary cities
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s decision to reverse the county’s policy immigration detainer requests from the U.S Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has given President Trump his first big win on immigration since taking office.
Trump warned that federal funding for counties with “sanctuary cities” would be stopped if the Federal laws were not followed.
Gimenez issued a memo stating the Miami-Dade would put a hold on undocumented inmates at the county jail if requested.
“In light of the provisions of the Executive Order, I direct you and your staff to honor all immigration detainer requests received from the Department of Homeland Security,” Gimenez wrote in the brief memo.
“I want to make sure we don’t put in jeopardy the millions of funds we get from the federal government for a $52,000 issue,” Gimenez told the Miami Herald. The county expects to receive some $355 million in federal funds, according to its 2017 budget. “It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be arresting more people,” Gimenez added. “It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be enforcing any immigration laws.”
Detaining illegal immigrant criminals in local jails would have cost about $52,000, but only amounts to about $200 per day.
Some communities instruct local police not to ask about immigration status while other sanctuaries simply refuse to comply with the federal government when it asks the community to hold an undocumented immigrant already in custody until federal officials can start deportation proceedings.
Trump praised the mayor’s order, saying, “Miami-Dade Mayor drops sanctuary policy. Right decision. Strong!”
Miami-Dade Mayor drops sanctuary policy. Right decision. Strong! https://t.co/MtPvaDC4jM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
Protesters rallied quickly to object to the decision.
“I came here to tell Mayor Gimenez to not be so spineless, to not be such a coward, to stand up for immigrants. He’s just bowing to Trump immediately, just folding and we need him to stand up for us,” said protester David Abud. to the local CBS News.
“Gimenez was the first one to make a statement and take a side on this issues where other sanctuary cities have not. Miami-Dade is one of the counties with highest number of immigrants and he himself is an immigrant. This is just a total slap in the face to immigrants in this county who have built their lives and built this city,” said protester Lillian Gil.
The Florida Democratic Party weighed in on Gimenez’s decision, they called it “unconscionable.”
“Mayor Giménez’s cowardice will expose tens of thousands of families to deportation, despite the County Commission’s unanimous 2013 vote to designate Miami-Dade a Sanctuary County. Mayor Giménez must not let the Trump administration turn our local law enforcement officials into a deportation force that will tear families apart,” said Miami-Dade DEC Chair Juan Cuba. “Mayors from across the country have refused to turn their backs on immigrants. Miami-Dade County should proudly do the same.”
In a news conference Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said the executive order was written in “a very vague fashion,” and New York City had solid ground to pursue a legal challenge to the executive order, “should the occasion arise and be necessary.”