Miami-Dade Becomes First Jurisdiction to Comply with Trump’s Sanctuary City Order
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez signed a memo on Thursday that orders county officials to comply with federal immigration detention requests. This order makes Miami-Dade the first jurisdiction to relinquish its status as an immigrant sanctuary, a title given to it by the Department of Justice in May of 2016, but one that the county itself has resisted.
Gimenez’s action comes a day after President Trump signed an executive order titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” on Wednesday, which denies federal funding to sanctuary cities by instructing the Department of Homeland Security to cut its funding to these cities. This, in effect, coerces counties into cooperating with federal authorities when it comes to detaining undocumented immigrants.
Gimenez’s action directs the county’s corrections director to comply with Trump’s executive order by holding undocumented immigrants who have been detained by police for committing crimes long enough for federal authorities to pick them up, a measure that officials in many cities have resisted so far.
In 2016, the cost that the county would have incurred had it held the almost 100 undocumented inmates long enough for feds to pick them up would have been about $52,000, according to The Miami Herald, which broke the story.
In an interview with The Miami Herald, Gimenez said that his decision was a financial one, stating that “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. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be arresting more people. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be enforcing any immigration laws.”
On “Fox and Friends” this morning, Gimenez told the show’s hosts that the decision was a “no-brainer,” saying that Trump’s executive order “put an exclamation point” on the issue, and the county is merely returning to its 2014 policy honoring detention requests “regardless of the fact the governments says they’ll pay for it.”
Gimenez’s statement stands in contrast to statements made by mayors of other sanctuary cities such as Bill de Blasio of New York City. He said on CNN that the city would threaten to sue if federal funding was stripped because the city refused to turn over undocumented immigrants who commit low-level crimes. The city’s current policy states that the city will cooperate with the federal government if an undocumented immigrant commits a serious crime.
Gimenez, who voted for Hillary Clinton in the election, and called for Trump to step down as the Republican party’s nominee back in October, was praised by Trump, as the president took to Twitter yesterday afternoon to celebrate the perceived policy victory:
Miami-Dade Mayor drops sanctuary policy. Right decision. Strong! https://t.co/MtPvaDC4jM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017