Media Contact

ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737 or Ryan Karerat, 212-284-7388,

August 16, 2017

August 16, 2017

MIAMI— Attorney General Jeff Sessions will visit Miami, FL today to praise Miami-Dade County for abandoning the so-called sanctuary cities policies.

Across the United States, police have protected their ability to fight crime by deciding that they will not let immigration enforcement get in the way of their core public safety mission. Hundreds of jurisdictions have therefore refused to honor  warrantless federal detainer requests, which have been held to violate people’s civil rights. Miami-Dade law enforcement previously followed that sensible policy. But earlier this year, Mayor Gimenez ordered, and the Commission acquiesced, a change in policy, caving to threats from the Trump administration.

Lorella Praeli, American Civil Liberties Union director of immigration policy and campaigns, issued the following reaction:

“Sanctuary city policies improve public safety, protect immigrants, and promote trust between communities and police. Instead of protecting Floridians, Mayor Carlos Gimenez turned his back on the community and Miami-Dade County became an extension of Trump’s mass deportation force.

This approach, encouraged by the administration, is not about public safety, but rather intended to advance policies that are hostile to immigrants by any means possible. Through unconstitutional detainer practices, these policies encourage the violation of our constitutional guarantee to live securely and freely without harassment or unreasonable arrests

The federal government cannot force local law enforcement to cede their responsibilities to the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, and it cannot threaten them by inventing new funding rules.

We’re grateful for the many cities that have stood strong. Miami is a major outlier in caving to the Trump administration’s desires, despite a court order blocking President Trump’s anti-sanctuary executive order. We urge others to hold their ground — the law is on our side. These policies protect all people, including non-citizens, and the rule of law.

We urge President Trump, AG Sessions, the Department of Justice, and Mayor Gimenez to give up this crusade. Public safety must not be another sacrifice of this administration.”

Amien Kacou, ACLU of Florida staff attorney said:

“Instead of standing with its residents against the Trump administration's overreach and unacceptable immigration platform, Miami-Dade caved to the administration’s bullying tactics. The anti-immigrant policy adopted by Miami-Dade County violates the Constitution, including the prohibition against unlawful seizures under the Fourth Amendment and the guarantee of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Residents of Miami-Dade, both  citizens and non-citizens, now have to worry about the possibility of spending days in jail without charge.

We’re saddened by the decision of Miami-Dade Mayor and County Commissioners to adhere to this unlawful immigration policy, but we remain committed to defending our neighbors and the Constitution. By enforcing this anti-immigrant policy, Attorney General Sessions and Mayor Gimenez will endanger public safety, all in an effort to expand the administration's mass deportation force. We encourage all cities and counties to stand strong and adopt freedom cities’ policies to protect the rights of all.”