The municipal leaders in Chicago, Baltimore, San Francisco and a bunch of other places may want to take note of this story. It might save them a lot of headaches in the future and relieve some of their budget problems to boot.
Down in Florida, Miami-Dade County took the much criticized step of reversing their policy of not honoring ICE detainers shortly after President Trump took office. They’d been pursuing that policy since 2013 but their mayor, Carlos Gimenez, apparently saw the writing on the wall. The policy was abandoned and the county has now been informed that they are in compliance with the law. The move brought them more than just a pat on the back from the Justice Department, however. Miami-Dade just found out that they have qualified for a nearly half million dollar law enforcement grant. (Miami Herald)
An Aug. 4 letter to Mayor Carlos Gimenez from the Justice Department said “there was no evidence” Miami-Dade was out of compliance with an immigration provision of a federal police grant worth about $480,000 this year to the county.
Shortly after President Donald Trump took office promising an immigration crackdown, Gimenez reversed a 2013 county policy and ordered Miami-Dade jails to begin honoring requests by immigration officers to extend the detentions of people in local custody who are also being sought for possible deportation.
Miami-Dade is the only large jurisdiction known to have made that kind of change, which the County Commission endorsed in February. As a result, it has been assumed Miami-Dade would be shielded from any loss of federal funds the Trump administration engineered as part of a broader effort to punish communities not cooperating on immigration detentions.
You know who could really use some of that grant money? Baltimore. But I keep seeing headlines indicating that municipal leaders there and in other sanctuary cities are “baffled” as to why they aren’t getting the grant money from these federal programs. If you’re honestly all that baffled then you haven’t been paying attention. The President hasn’t exactly been subtle about this. In fact, he and the Attorney General have pretty much been telegraphing their punches. If you won’t assist in protecting your own citizens by getting illegal aliens off the streets and out of the country, Washington isn’t going to waste law enforcement grant money on you, preferring to spend it in places which are serious about cutting down on crime at all levels.
And again, this isn’t something that just came at them out of the blue. The Justice Department was sending out letters to all of these cities as early as April laying out this exact scenario. (NPR)
Alan Hanson, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s grant-making arm, warned the cities that they’re required to submit proof that they comply with federal immigration law.
“Failure to comply with this condition could result in the withholding of grant funds, suspension or termination of the grant, ineligibility for future … grants, or other action, as appropriate,” Hanson wrote.
The places receiving the letters include Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, New York and Sacramento, Calif.
Was there something in that notice that wasn’t clear? Did it get lost in the mail or eaten by your dog after it arrived? They told you exactly how the rules were going to be enforced. But it’s not too late to get with the program here folks. You could still qualify for the next round of funding if you move into compliance the same way Miami-Dade did. And if not I’m sure we could find something else to do with the cash. I understand there’s a wall of some sort that needs funding out in the southwest.