Hundreds of residents of Miami-Dade County in Florida are demanding that Mayor Carlos Gimenez reinstate the county’s sanctuary policy in a second protest, according to a Tuesday report from the Miami Herald.
Nearly 400 protesters occupied the space outside of the Miami-Dade government seat to voice their disapproval of Gimenez’s decision to comply with an order from President Donald Trump that bans sanctuary cities. Local officials dispute that figure, arguing that the crowd only featured 100 protesters. This is the second protest since Gimenez announced his decision.
“He insists we’re not a sanctuary city,” Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez said of Gimenez during her speech. “We are a sanctuary city. We should be a sanctuary city.” Although the city commissioner attended the protests, no other Democratic officeholders, either locally or on the state level attended.
Gimenez issued a local order last week that officially ended Miami’s status as a sanctuary city. The resulting administrative changes prolonged sentences of criminals that were wanted by immigration for deportation. Police officers with Miami-Dade county ignored requests from immigration enforcement before the order, allowing potential illegal immigrants to go free before being turned over.
“To have a mayor be the first to side with Trump is just unimaginable,” said Deborah Dion. “Miami-Dade is the melting pot of this country.”
Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were also targeted in the protest, but the crowd appeared to be more favorable to Rubio than Trump.
“To see a person of such little intellect in a leadership role and failing badly makes me sick; it makes us all fail,” protester John Tayol said. “I am asking that Rubio make moves to remove [Trump]. Somebody has to step up and save this nation, save this democracy.”
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