President Trump has issued an executive order directing federal agencies to remove funding from self-proclaimed 'sanctuary’ cities that have refused to cooperate with his strict immigration policy.
While Miami-Dade never officially adopted the label, since 2013 it has refused to indefinitely detain prisoners who are in the United States illegally and wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
As President Trump gears up to deliver a defensive wall on the US-Mexico border, he ordered the Home Land Security Department to name-and-shame some 279 cities and counties who have refused to cooperate on deportations in 2016, accounting for 2,008 immigrations who were shielded, according to ICE.
On Thursday, fearing cuts of millions of dollars, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a Republican who voted for Hillary Clinton, decided to bow down to the White House threats.
The Mayor of Miami-Dade has vowed to enforce President Trump's immigration crackdown
The message of Miami-Dade County is that we’re not a sanctuary city and never have been
Mayor Carlos Gimenez
In a memo sent to Daniel Junior, the interim director of the corrections and rehabilitation, Mayor Gimenez wrote: “In light of the provisions of the executive order, I direct you and your staff to honour all immigration detainer requests received from the Department of Homeland security.”
Speaking on Fox News, he added: “The message of Miami-Dade County is that we’re not a sanctuary city and never have been.
“We provide the federal government with information whenever we arrest somebody here, who was an illegal immigrant – we don’t arrest people for being illegal immigrants.”
His decision effectively means that Miami-Dade can no longer be considered a safe port for immigrants attempting to enter the US illegally.
Mayor Gimenez claimed that he was not willing to take the financial risk by defying President Trump’s executive order.
In a separate interview with the Miami Herald, he said last year the county detained 100 inmates wanted by federal law enforcement, keeping them detained would have cost $52,000 – a small amount compared to the $7billion annual budget for the county.
He said: “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.”
Mexico Wall: Trump gives the go ahead
Thu, January 26, 2017
The structures, fences and walls that mark the border between the United States and Mexico as President Donald Trump reiterates his promise to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
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Combo with images of the border fence between Mexico and the U.S. taken in the states of Sonora and Baja California, Mexico, and in the states of Arizona and California, U.S., between July 2, 2016 and January 25, 2017.
After hearing news of the from California, President Trump tweeted: “Miami-Dade Mayor drops sanctuary policy. Right decision. Strong!”
Elsewhere, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said his city will use the courts to fight Donald Trump’s executive order.
He told CNN: “We think it’s very susceptible to legal challenge. IF they make an attempt to pull that money, it will be from the NYPD, from security funding to fight terrorism.
“If an attempt is made to do that, we ill go to court immediately for an injunction to stop it. We believe the executive order is vague and in some ways contradictory.”