URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/trump-administration-rewards-miami-reversing-sanctuary-policies/
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Miami-Dade County was told Friday by the Department of Justice that it will no longer be treated as a so-called sanctuary city after the county changed its policies in February surrounding detaining jailed inmates sought by federal authorities for deportation.
Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez was notified by Alan Hanson, an acting assistant attorney general, that the DOJ found “no evidence that Miami Dade County is currently out of compliance,” clearing the way for the county to receive $481,347 in federal law enforcement funding in form of a Byrne JAG grant.
Miami was first classified as a sanctuary city by the Obama administration for its 2013 policy that authorized the county to begin denying “detainer” requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The policy provided that the county would only hold inmates sought for deportation if they faced severe charges and if the federal government would reimburse the county for extra detention time.
But shortly after President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January, Gimenez dropped the policy, ordering county jails to comply with ICE detentions requests.
The Miami-Dade Commission voted 9-3 in February in support of the mayor’s policy to honor ICE detention requests.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in July that the DOJ would impose new conditions on Byrne JAG grants, a leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions.
“From now on, the Department will only provide Byrne JAG grants to cities and states that comply with federal law, allow federal immigration access to detention facilities, and provide 48 hours notice before they release an illegal alien wanted by federal authorities,” Sessions said in a statement announcing the new restrictions.
Miami-Dade’s decision to change its sanctuary status worked. The county received assurances from the DOJ Friday that it was in compliance and would receive a Byrne JAG Grant valued at $481,347, which will go towards enhancing the Miami Dade Police Department’s “intelligence gathering and police operations with investments in technology and specialized equipment,” according to Gimenez.
“This is good news,” said Gimenez’s communications director, Michael Hernández.
Hernández said the county is now requesting that the Trump administration remove Miami-Dade from the Obama administration’s original list of sanctuary cities.
“We’d like to have formal notification that we are no longer a sanctuary community,” Hernández said. “That request is being made.”
Miami-Dade is the only large jurisdiction in the country known to have complied with Trump’s request to crack down on its sanctuary city policy. Other sanctuary cities, such as Chicago, are calling foul at the Trump administration’s new restrictions surrounding Byrne JAG grants. Chicago was expected to receive $3.2 million in federal grants this year to purchase law enforcement equipment. But instead of complying, Chicago opted on Monday to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration to prevent it from enforcing the new policies.
“We are bringing this legal challenge because the rhetoric, the threats from this administration embodied in these new conditions imposed on unrelated public safety grants funds are breeding a culture and climate of fear,” said the senior legal adviser for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Sunday it was “tragic” that Emanuel was more concerned about protecting illegal immigrants than he was by the high murder rate on the streets of Chicago.
“It’s especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago’s law enforcement at greater risk,” Flores said in a statement.
Chicago is the first city to challenge the Trump administration over its new restrictions surrounding Byrne JAG grants.