Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised “more money for crime fighting” as a reward for Miami-Dade dropping “sanctuary” protections from immigration violators at county jails. After nearly a year as one of President Trump’s most lauded counties, Miami-Dade is still waiting for increased federal aid.
When Attorney General Jeff Sessions flew to Miami in August, he promised “more money for crime fighting” as a reward for Miami-Dade dropping “sanctuary” protections from immigration violators at county jails. After nearly a year as one of President Trump’s most lauded counties, Miami-Dade is still waiting for its federal windfall, the Miami Herald reports. Mayor Carlos Gimenez cited billions in rail funds he hoped to secure from Washington in defending the county’s immigration switch days after Trump took office. Trump’s transportation secretary said that “resources are an issue.”
Chicago is suing the Trump administration over Trump’s funding threats for sanctuary jurisdictions, but the Windy City received the same $3 million police grant from the Justice Department that Miami-Dade did in November. Before Trump became president, both jurisdictions rejected federal requests to detain people who were booked on local charges while being sought for deportation. Chicago still doesn’t, but Miami-Dade started honoring the “detainer” requests last January. When Sessions came to Miami to cheer the county’s accepting federal requests to detain immigration offenders, he announced what DOJ had told the county two weeks earlier: the switch on “detainers” meant the county was eligible to continue receiving help from the Byrne Grant program for local police agencies. Figures released this week by Miami-Dade’s budget office showed the county received about $700,000 in Byrne dollars last year — enough to fund its $680 million police budget for eight hours. With the Trump administration not even a year old, Miami-Dade could start to see an advantage in federal police funding as the Justice Department fends off court fights over its new rules and succeeds in toughening the screening for future awards.