Miami-Dade residents protest Mayor Gimenez actions
Following Miami-Dade Mayor hasty response to President Trump’s executive order to stop federal grants to “sanctuary cities and counties” providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants from detention and deportation, protestors descended on County Hall in Miami last Friday.
Last Thursday, less than 24-hours after Trump signed the executive order, Gimenez ordered county jails to comply with federal immigration authorities to detain undocumented immigrants who have committed a crime.
Around noon on Friday, protesters gathered outside Miami-Dade County Hall at the Stephen P. Clark Center in Downtown Miami to express objection and concern to the mayor’s response to the executive order. Several protestors, most of whom were immigrants, carried signs denouncing Gimenez, some reading “Shame on You, Gimenez.”
Some protestors said they were already afraid of measures Trump would impose against immigrants when it was realized he had won the presidential elections. One of the protestors, Miriame Josephe said, “I have a lot of fear about what Trump may do to remove immigrants. Mayor Gimenez now make that fear worse. Most immigrants are not criminals, but it can be so easy for the authorities to wrongfully accuse people of being criminals.”
The protestors accused Gimenez of betraying Miami-Dade County residents by supporting Trump’s executive order.
Gimenez said in an interview on CNN that his response was done for economic reasons, to ensure Miami-Dade County doesn’t lose critical federal funding. He also said when he was sworn in as mayor, he took an oath to defend and protect the constitutional laws of the United States, Florida and Miami-Dade County.
The director of communications in Mayor Gimenez Michael Hernandez, office said the county has always cooperated and “will continue to cooperate with the federal government,” while emphasizing Miami-Dade Police officers are not immigration enforcement agents.
Gimenez also claimed that Miami-Dade isn’t a sanctuary county, since it has been complying with federal government immigration policies, although it was determined to be in this category by the Obama administration last year.
There are reports that Mayor Gimenez response to the executive order is creating fear among children of undocumented immigrants at Miami-Dade public schools. According to Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, students have been expressing concerns for the welfare of their parents as a result of the executive order.