The SPLC and a broad coalition of advocates and legal scholars today urged Florida’s Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners to uphold a county resolution that has saved millions of tax dollars and improved community relations with police by not requiring officers to detain people for immigration authorities in county jails.
The resolution’s future has been imperiled by Mayor Carlos Giménez’s Jan. 26 directive that the county again hold immigrants for the federal government at taxpayer expense.
In a letter to the commissioners, the groups explained that, contrary to the mayor’s recent directive, the county does not face any imminent threats to federal funds by keeping the policy. Although President Trump recently issued an executive order that threatens to withhold federal funds from municipalities that refuse to share information with federal immigration authorities, the order does not extend to Miami-Dade, which prohibits only the jailing of immigrants at county expense.
Any future attempt by the president to revoke funding from states and local governments is subject to important constitutional limitations, the letter explains.
“Forcing local law officers to become immigration agents will only undermine trust between the police and immigrants, making our communities less safe as fear prevents immigrants from reporting crime,” said Naomi Tsu, SPLC deputy legal director. “Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez needs to do what’s best for his constituents instead of giving into an administration that has demonstrated it is only adept at throwing our nation’s immigration policy into chaos.”