U.S. city terminates ‘sanctuary’ status, Trump rewards with major funding

Now that the city is cooperating with Immigration officials when criminals are discovered to be illegal aliens, Miami-Dade County has heard from Washington that it will no longer be treated as a “sanctuary city.”

An Aug. 4 letter to Mayor Carlos Gimenez from the Justice Department said “there was no evidence” Miami-Dade was out of compliance with an immigration provision of a federal police grant worth around $480,000 this year.

Shortly after President Donald Trump took office and began cracking down on immigration violators, as well as penalizing those cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials, Gimenez reversed a 2013 county policy in February 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. 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. Now the city is reaping the benefits.

Local immigration advocates were outraged by the change, accusing the Cuban-born mayor of betraying Miami-Dade’s heritage of welcoming immigrants and advocating for the embrace of new arrivals to the country.

Despite the threats, the Trump administration has not yet announced an actual loss of federal dollars tied to local immigration policies. On Monday, Chicago announced it was suing the Trump administration over an expected loss of federal funds over the city’s policies on immigration enforcement, which includes not honoring federal detention requests.

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