Miami-Dade County has officially complied with the president’s immigration policy and won’t be treated as a community giving “sanctuary” to those in violation. The South Florida County began extending the detentions of local inmates sought for deportation, and in an August 4th letter to Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the Justice Department said “there was no evidence” Miami-Dade was out of compliance. Now they are eligible for a federal police grant worth about $480,000.
Not long after President Donald Trump took office and promised a crackdown on immigration, Mayor Gimenez reversed a 2013 county policy and ordered Miami-Dade jails to begin honoring requests by immigration officers to extend the detentions of those in custody who were also being sought for deportation. This county is the only large jurisdiction that is known to have made that kind of change. This decision by the mayor that was endorsed by the County Commission outraged local immigration advocates. They accused the Cuban-born mayor of betraying the local heritage of welcoming immigrants and advocating for new arrivals.
In contrast to Miami-Dade, Chicago announced on Tuesday that they would sue the Trump administration over the expected loss of federal funds because of their “sanctuary” policies which include not honoring federal detention requests.
Compliance with the Trump administration means that typically a 48-hour detention request is enforced so that immigration officers have more time to apprehend a deportation suspect who has been arrested and held on unrelated charges.
The Trump administration sent warning letters to Miami-Dade and eight other state or local governments about compliance with federal rules. The list was taken from a roster published in 2016 under the Obama administration, and Miami-Dade was still included. Miami-Dade responded to the warning letter with a current description of the immigration policy and asked to be deleted from the recipient list. The letter on August 4th from Alan Hanson, acting assistant attorney general, cleared Miami-Dade as one of the governments set to lose their federal money.
Is this a “win” or a “loss” for Miami-Dade County?
Credit: Miami Herald