Money does make the world go round especially when a municipality relies on federal dollars. Today the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez responded to President Trump’s executive order withholding federal aid from sanctuary cities by ordering the county’s jails to comply with federal immigration detention requests.
“In light of the provisions of the Executive Order [Wednesday], I direct you and your staff to honor all immigration detainer requests received from the Department of Homeland Security,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez told the county’s corrections department, in a letter reported by the Miami Herald.
Unlike cities like San Francisco, Miami-Dade never declared itself a “sanctuary” and has resisted the label ever since the Justice Department listed the county as one in a May 2016 report. Foreseeing Trump’s crackdown on “sanctuary” jurisdictions, the county asked the feds to review its status last year. A decision is still pending.
In an interview with the Miami Herald, Gimenez, a Republican who attended Trump’s inauguration last week but said he voted for Hillary Clinton, said he made a financial decision. Last year, the county declined to hold some 100 inmates wanted by the feds. Keeping them in local jails would have cost about $52,000 — a relative drop in the bucket for a county with a total annual budget of $7 billion.
Almost immediately President Trump congratulated the Mayor for his wise decision.
Miami-Dade Mayor drops sanctuary policy. Right decision. Strong! https://t.co/MtPvaDC4jM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, denounced Gimenez’s action, saying that it “flies in the face of Miami’s long history as a city of immigrants” and predicting it will “drive a wedge of distrust between law enforcement and our immigrant community.”
Gimenez told Fox News that the declined to put
illegal aliens, I mean criminally trespassing aliens in Jail because the feds wouldn’t pick up the cost of around $52,000 to hold the 100 inmates wanted by ICE.
“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,”[$355 million} he said. “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.”
The mayor’s spokesman told Fox News that the county had been assured that federal authorities would remove the detainees in a timely fashion in an effort to cut down on the detention costs to the county.
Holding the ones they arrest for other criminal reasons is a big step. Remember Kathryn Steinle was killed last year by someone who was deported five times and despite a request by ICE to hold him was released by the San Francisco sheriff’s department because they are a sanctuary city.
First published at Lid Blog