Miami-Dade County has successfully exemplified how to cooperate with the demands of an anti-immigrant demagogue — and without much of a fight. Florida’s largest city was targeted by the Justice Department, along with several other self-described sanctuary cities, after Trump took office and launched defunding threats on uncooperative municipalities. But Miami’s Trump-groveling mayor, Carlos Gimenez, swiftly took action to avoid losing DOJ dollars and it evidently paid off.
The overturned procedure now allows local jails to hold arrestees for an arguably unconstitutional amount of time at the behest of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Since the Obama administration, ICE has requested that local jails detain arrestees who are sought for deportation, but doing so would require they be held longer than stipulated by the Fourth Amendment. In 2013, Miami passed legislation rejecting ICE’s requests unless the department paid for detention and the arrestee was accused of a serious crime.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions solidified Trump’s orders in July when he formally outlined the Justice Department’s new guidelines to qualify for federal funding. Under Sessions, sanctuary cities must give immigration officials access to jails and alert authorities 48 hours notice before releasing detainees sought by the department.
Apparently acknowledging Miami’s appeasement effort, the DOJ sent Miami a letter last Friday clearing it from being in violation of the department’s new guidelines — and provisionally provided $480,000 in federal funding for policing.
“Based on the materials you have provided, we found no evidence that Miami Dade County is currently out of compliance with section 1373,” the letter stated. “As a reminder, complying with section 1373 is an ongoing requirement that the Office of Justice Programs will continue to monitor.”
As The Miami Herald noted, Miami-Dade is the only city to have reversed its detention policy. Gimenez’s communications director, Mike Hernández, the city is quite pleased with the DOJ’s letter. “This is good news,” Hernández said. Miami’s residents don’t exactly feel the same way.