Miami-Dade County is the only large jurisidiction known to have decided to honor requests by immigration officers to extend the detentions of people in custody who are being sought for possible deportation.
For the first time since it began extending the detentions of local inmates sought for deportation, Miami-Dade County has been told it won’t be treated by the federal government as a community giving “sanctuary” to immigration violators, the Miami Herald reports. In an Aug. 4 letter to Mayor Carlos Gimenez, DOJ said “there was no evidence” Miami-Dade was out of compliance with an immigration provision of a federal police grant worth about $480,000 this year to the county. Shortly after President Trump took office promising an immigration crackdown, Gimenez reversed a 2013 county policy and ordered Miami-Dade jails to begin honoring requests by immigration officers to extend the detentions of people in local custody who are also being sought for possible deportation.
Miami-Dade is the only large jurisdiction known to have made that kind of change, which the County Commission endorsed in February. As a result, it has been assumed Miami-Dade would be shielded from any loss of federal funds the Trump administration engineered as part of a broader effort to punish communities not cooperating on immigration detentions. Gimenez’s change of policy prompted outrage from local immigration advocates, who accused the Cuban-born mayor of betraying Miami-Dade’s heritage of welcoming immigrants and advocating for the embrace of new arrivals to the country.