Miami-Dade Officially Declassified as Sanctuary City

Who's next?

After pressure from the Trump administration, Miami-Dade County is no longer considered a sanctuary city.

Soon after President Trump was inaugurated, his administration threatened to withhold federal funding from cities which refused to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents when dealing with illegal aliens. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez complied to the chagrin of some on the city council and activists in the community and reversed a 2013 policy that blocked local law enforcement from work with ICE in deporting criminal aliens.

According to the Miami Herald, “Miami-Dade is the only large jurisdiction known to have made that kind of change, which the County Commission endorsed in February.”

When the county made the decision in February, USA Today chided Miami as the first sanctuary city to “cave” to Trump’s demands.

But on August 4th, the Justice Department sent the following letter signed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson to the mayor:

Thank you for your submission dated June 26, 2017, regarding your compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, further to the terms of your FY 2016 Byrne JAG grant, award #2016-DJ-BX- 0578 from the Office of Justice Programs. Your submission was very helpful and informative.

Based on the materials you have provided, we found no evidence that Miami Dade County is currently out of compliance with section 1373. As a reminder, complying with section 1373 is an ongoing requirement that the Office of Justice Programs will continue to monitor.

Gimenez promptly delivered the news to the county commission in a letter of his own:

I am happy to report that the DOJ has made a determination that the County is in compliance, and we are eligible for FY 2016 Byrne JAG grant funding (2016-DJ-BX-0578), in the amount of $481,347. The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) is using the Fiscal Year 2016 JAG award to enhance MDPD’s intelligence gathering and police operations with investments in technology and specialized equipment.

Gimenez’s communications director, Michael Hernández, is happy to receive such “good news” but has made the request that Miami-Dade receive a “formal notification that we are no longer a sanctuary community” and are completely removed from the list of cities compiled during the Obama administration. 

Meanwhile, Chicago is suing the current administration because it doesn’t want to lose its certification as a sanctuary city. That’s not a city that needs to be losing funding with all the problems going on there. But Democrats gotta Democrat.

Photo credit: XT Inc. via / CC BY-NC-SA