Advocates of undocumented immigrants turned out in force on Friday as Miami-Dade County Commissioners listened to the public bashing Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez’ controversial immigration order directing county jails to comply with a new White House policy targeting sanctuary cities and jurisdictions.
The commission heard from Florida state Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez and a long procession of speakers from various groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and even the young children of parents who have been deported.
“There’s no specific threat from the federal government. I would characterize this simply as appeasement of an administration that’s not only a month old,” Rodriguez said.
All of Friday’s speakers were given one minute to make their case under rules outlined by Chairman Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. Many of the speakers wore white flowers as a show of support for undocumented people living and working in Miami-Dade County.
“Right now I’m a fugitive and based on the law I’m a criminal,” acknowledged one man. “I’m not a criminal and I don’t think I should be treated as a criminal.”
The Gimenez order came one day after President Donald Trump signed an executive order threatening federal funding to cities that didn’t comply. Gimenez has defended his stance.