Miami-Dade County shouldn’t be considered a “sanctuary city” because it cooperates with federal law enforcement when detaining immigrants, officials said Wednesday.
Michael Hernandez, a spokesman of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, said they don’t know yet whether the county will be deprived of federal funds under a new order signed Wednesday by President Donald Trump that seeks to crack down on illegal immigration.
Last year, a Department of Justice report listed Miami-Dade as one of the communities that refused to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Local police help immigration officers when the federal government agrees to pay for detention costs, Hernandez said. Local police only cooperate in cases of immigrants who had previous convictions or faced charges for violent crimes.
“We consider ourselves to be cooperative,” Hernandez said. “But our police officers are not immigration agents.”
The Miami-Dade “sanctuary city” label is under review, and officials expect results in the end of the spring, Hernandez said.
The Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, estimates 610,000 undocumented people live in Florida. The majority of them are Mexicans and Central Americans.
Republished with permission of The Associated Press.