WASHINGTON– Former Florida Republican Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll applauded Miami’s recent removal from the list of the cities the Department of Justice considers to be in violation of federal immigration law.
“Miami has done the right thing in that the law is the law,” Carroll said Tuesday.
Carroll, who was born in Trinidad, said: “If you want to get [federal] grant dollars… then comply with the law.”
Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez (R) on Friday in a letter from DOJ received confirmation that the city was no longer included among the nation’s many jurisdictions that the Trump Administration deems to be in defiance of federal immigration law. Those jurisdictions are often referred to as “sanctuary cities.”
The Miami Herald first reported the existence of the letter.
Gimenez following Trump’s ascension to office in late-January began complying with immigration detainer requests. Non-compliance would have made Miami ineligible for certain federal grants.
Sanctuary city proponents have argued that allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in their communities without fear of deportation allows them to economically contribute as well as feel comfortable enough to report crimes to the police. Opponents of the policy maintain that sanctuary cities make communities less safe and decrease employment prospects for American citizens.
Washington, D.C., neighboring Montgomery County, Md., Baltimore, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles are included among the nation’s many sanctuary cities.
Miami-Dade is the first major U.S. city to have abandoned its sanctuary city status.
Amien Kacou, who is a staff attorney for the Florida branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, said courts have ruled that the government cannot tie federal grant allocation to detainer requests.
“DOJ cannot responsibly require the County to comply with detainer hold requests by pulling federal grants that were contemplated by Congress for important purposes wholly unrelated to immigration enforcement, and municipalities that have stood up for this constitutional principle and against this administration’s illegitimate threats have been vindicated by federal courts,” he said.
Kacou said the ACLU last month filed suit against Miami.
“We filed Creedle v. Gimenez, a case that not only denounces the illegality of the County’s detainer policy but also highlights how the policy harms foreign-born U.S. citizen residents of Miami Dade,” Kacou said.
The House of Representatives in June passed two bills aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. The first would withhold certain grants from jurisdictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The second would increase penalties for deported undocumented immigrants who attempt to re-enter the U.S.
The bills face an uncertain future in the Senate.