New Florida Majority Executive Director Andrea Mercado released the following statement ahead of Wednesdays visit of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Miami.

This weekend, a violent act of terrorism by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia resulted in three tragic deaths and over nineteen injuries. Our hearts are with the people who put their bodies on the line to resist racism. The white supremacists and Neo-Nazis mobilized around the decision to remove a Confederate statue and symbol of the legacy of racism,an effort towards justice that is underway in cities like Tampa and Jacksonville. 

Today in Miami, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has promoted and supported policies that reify institutional racism time after time, looks to reward Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and his band of trusted County Commissioners for their unwavering loyalty to the Trump Administration’s detention and deportation policy. They will be met by scores of Miami residents who since January have stood up to defend the vision of a diverse America that is continually making amends for its racist past while trying to make good on the promises of pluralism, equal opportunity and freedom from persecution.

Who won’t be there are the hundreds of children and families whose lives have been uprooted by this immoral and unconstitutional detainer and deportation policy.

For the promise of federal funding, Mayor Gimenez and his acolytes have chosen to destabilize homes, diminish local economies and instill a sense of fear and trauma. If it sounds familiar, it’s the same collateral damage borne by mostly African Americans from the incarceration-heavy War on Drugs –  tactics that Attorney General Sessions incidentally wants to bring back, despite the conclusions of its ineffectiveness by policy experts.

In standing with Attorney General Sessions today, Miami Dade County government officials are embracing a man and an Administration whose rhetoric and actions have led to the emboldening of white supremacists, and the escalation of violence that we recently saw in Charlottesville.

We call on our leaders to do more than just denounce the hateful rhetoric of the Trump Administration. Reject the policies that normalize white supremacy and limit opportunity to a chosen and influential few. Choose instead to expand democracy and support efforts that build community, increase racial equity, and harvest abundance for all.

The promise of federal funding is not an excuse to betray the promise of America.