Miami-Dade Jails Turned 436 Immigrant Detainees Over to ICE Last Year

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In less than one year, jails in Miami-Dade County—home to the highest number of immigrants in the state—turned over 436 people to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday, effectively ending the metropolitan area’s status as a sanctuary city for immigrants.

In doing so, the county highlights the potential reach of new ICE detention protocols, including those that removed guidelines requiring officials to detain immigrants only with prior felony or misdemeanor convictions. Newly enforced detainer laws also ask that jails hold the incarcerated—those who are merely suspected of having committed an immigration crime—for an additional 48 hours after they would have been released from jail.

Jail officials were following the orders of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who, disturbed by Trump’s threat to slash federal funding for sanctuary cities, directed the county to comply with federal immigration detention laws just six days after Trump was sworn in.


Though Gimenez went on to claim that Miami has “never claimed to be a sanctuary city”—a laughable statement to any person with a cursory knowledge of American history—his decision to comply with new ICE detention laws effectively reversed a 2013 county policy outlining that jails wouldn’t honor those requests.

The American Civil Liberties Union has long argued that ICE has historically used detainers “to imprison people without due process and, in many cases, without any charges pending or probable cause of any violation.”