It was an odd thing to watch as speaker after speaker at Tuesday’s Miami-Dade Commission meeting be silenced — sanctuarycrowdtheir mics actually cut off — and, in some cases escorted out of the chambers. Disturbingly odd. Chillingly odd.

Members of the community had gone to speak on Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s directive Jan. 26 to the corrections department, telling them to start holding illegal immigrants who have federal detainer requests even after they post bond or are released at arraignment. Many people were offended and vowed to fight back. Hundreds have protested twice at County Hall — but none of the county electeds were there to hear them.

Tuesday was their first chance to speak to our elected leaders about something that they felt was of vital importance.

Until Bovo put a kibosh on that.

Read related story: Looming face off at County Hall over sanctuary switch

The chairman made an announcement at the beginning of the meeting: Public comments would be limited only to bovothose items on the agenda. He closed the public comments saying that it was “important to get the business before us done and not turn this into a circus.”

The “circus” he said, will be on Feb. 17.

“We set an entire day aside for them to come and speack on the detention issue or against Trump or whatever they want,” Bovo later told Ladra, adding that it was the first time in his memory they set aside a special meeting for anything that was not a budget matter.

“It’s their right to be heard and by giving them a special meeting, we are giving them that,” said the chairman, who has already publicly supported the mayor’s decision.

“I know this item has people all fired up. This is a passionate, controversial item. I feel the passion. And I want to give them a forum,” Bovo said, adding that the separate meeting next Friday complies with the county’s obligation to provide a “reasonable opportunity to be heard.”

Later, on NBC6, Gimenez sort of shrugged his shoulders and said “They can say whatever they want on the 17th.” He did not sound like he would listen. He sounds like a man with a mind made up.

Read related story: Protester have demands for Carlos Gimenez on sanctuary

More than a dozen people wearing white flowers pinned to their clothing spoke Tuesday against the measure commissionbodyguardsanyway… sort of (only one Miami Trump volunteer spoke in favor). They couched their message in words dripping with double meaning to support two other measures on the agenda that (1) provide for citations rather than arrests of juveniles on first-time misdemeanors and (2) prohibit the suspension of a driver’s license for failure to pay a fine for some low-income drivers. Either one could be seen as a move to help protect illegal immgrants and undocumented youth from the consequences of the mayor’s new groove. The speakers spoke slowly, choosing words carefully in many instances, to get their subliminal message across.

Brian Hunker told them it was his first commission meeting. “I’ve never been politically active in my life so I guess in some ways just being here is sort of evidence that I’ve become motivated to participate and I hope you all take notice,” Hunker said, speaking in favor of the resolution to not arrest juveniles.

“It shows a wise exercise and foresight on behalf of the commission to prevent the systemic criminalization and incarcelation of well-meaning members of our community.”

Wink, wink.

“People’s lives should not be ruined if they’ve done nothing wrong. We don’t want to ruin people’s lives, whether its putting them in jail or sending them some place else,” said a gringo named Glen (didn’t catch his last name), who was careful not to use the taboo terms that had gotten people tossed already as he urged commissioners to extend that welfare to “a group of folks who are prevalent in Miami-Dade who I cannot mention by name.”

Because anyone who uttered the word “immigrant” was cut-off and, some, escorted out of chambers when they refused to stop talking even after the mic was turned off. Curiously, the word “undocumented” — which isn’t the same thing — was said at least twice without a reaction from Bovo.

Read related story: Carlos Gimenez will be grilled on sanctuary cities decision

“Arresting our youth is harmful to our community and it has very serious consequences, especially for protestcommissin2undocumented youth and its something we cannot divorce from the issue,” said Maria Angelica Rodriguez, who was not interrupted by the chairman. “Please support our youth, of which undocumented youth are also affected.”

Gaby Garcia Vera, an LGBT activist, was unfazed when he asked Gimenez not to leave because any issue having to do with law enforcement would affect illegal immigrants. “I will not sit in fear of this commission to say the word immigrant,” he said before he was cut off and led out as the audience cheered and some recorded it on their cell phones.

“We need to talk about community relations… This is not just about numbers,”

There’s more. Please press this “continue reading” button to “turn the page.”

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After Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez buckled to President Donald Trump‘s threats to keep federal funds from “sanctuary cities” gimeneztrumpand he issued his directive to have illegal immigrants with federal detention orders held by county corrections officers for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, immigration activists and their friends have protested at County Hall — twice.

But on Tuesday, the mayor’s supporters — or Trump’s supporters, same thing — say they will make themselves heard at what they call a “counter protest.”

It all points to what could be a powderkeg public comments session at the commission meeting, even though painstaking efforts were made to avoid it.

Read related story: Protesters have demands for Carlos Gimenez on sanctuary

The about-face on county policy — set in a 2013 resolution — is not on Tuesday’s county commission agenda. Chairman Esteban “Stevie” Bovo has called a special meeting on Feb. 17 — maybe precisely because he knew that a lot of people would show up. But, at the same time, he should have known that people don’t want to wait that long to talk about something that is already affecting lives. According to the Miami Herald, at least 27 people have been detained in county jails for ICE requests since the Gimenez directive.

So both supporters and opponents of the mayor’s move Jan. 26 have promised to go to the commission meeting Tuesday and let the mayor know how they feel anyway.

“Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has caved to Donald Trump and ordered local police to enforce immigration protestdetention orders,” says the Facebook event invitation urging folks to “tell Gimenez to reject Trump.”

“It’s up to us to show him we want to keep immigrants safe! Join us at the February 7th County Commission as we tell Gimenez and the commissioners to protect our immigrant families. We will not be silent. We will not be ignored. We will organize. We will be heard. We will win. We will be a sanctuary.”

The counter protest to “support law and order at Mayor Gimenez office” is organized by local Trump volunteers and Hispanas por Trump.

It looks like the Trumpettes are going to be outnumbered, though: On the Facebook events — which, admittedly, are not scientific projections — we have 231 people going to tell Gimenez off and 70 going to support him.

How much you wanna bet the county gets extra security for Tuesday?

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UPDATE: After the posting of this Thursday morning, the commission chairman called for a special meeting on Feb. 17. How they are going to get through the Feb. 7 meeting without talking about this is still a mystery.

There’s no question that Miami-Dade Commissioners will discuss the mayor’s directive last week togimenezshrugs honor detention requests for illegal immigrants in county jails. The only question is when.

It may not be on Tuesday’s agenda — yet. But it can’t be ignored.

Not just because more than 300 county residents protested the decision Tuesday at County Hall. Not just because more than a dozen community groups and leaders have denounced the move. Not just because Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava asked Mayor Carlos Gimenez Monday to answer a series of questions about the impact and consequences of this cave-in to a legally questionable federal threat to withhold millions in funding. Not just becasue she wants her colleagues to join other U.S. cities challenging the legality of the president’s executive order.

Read related story: Carlos Gimenez betrays the community for Donald Trump

No. They have to talk about this because the mayor’s directive flies in the face of a 2013 resolution in which commissioners instructed him to do just the opposite. There is already a growing discontent among commissioners about what happened and how it happened. Some don’t want to send the message that the strong mayor can do whatever he wants for the next four years.

They can do several things. They can propose a resolution to just undo or rescind the resolution from 2013, which Sally Heymanwould be a show of support for the mayor’s actions and is rumored to be what Commissioner Sally Heyman has in mind. They can also direct the county attorney’s office to challenge the federal order, which is how Levine Cava leans. Neither one had presented a discussion item or legislation for Tuesday’s meeting, but either could. Gimenez could also put it on as a discussion item from the mayor’s office.

What won’t happen, one commission aide said, is nothing. “Otherwise, that’s going to be the biggest elephant in the chambers on Tuesday.”

Commissioner Xavier Suarez said he did not think that that Gimenez intended to violate the resolution but that he, at least, had some questions about the details. “I think it’s time for a clarification, whether it comes from the mayor’s office or it comes from us,” X told Ladra Wednesday.

The mayor’s memo to Corrections and Rehabilitation Director Daniel Junior, even though it’s only three paragraphs long, indicates that even Gimenez knew he’d have to get some kind of commission approval (note the last sentence).

“Yesterday, January 25, 2017, President Donald J. Trump issued Executive Order Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.

In light of the provisions of the Executive Order, I direct you and your staff to honor all immigration detainer requests receive from the Department of Homeland Security.

Miami-Dade County complies with federal law and intends to fully cooperate with the federal government. I will partner with the Board of County Commissioners to address any issues necessary to achieve this end.” 

Partner with the Board of County Commissioners, indeed. Some commissioners, staffers and other County Hall insiders say he should have waited and partnered with commissioners to address the issue before jumping to GimenezprotestTrump’s drumbeat within 24 hours, becoming the first and so far only mayor of a major U.S. city to buckle.

Que verguenza.

But beyond that, some go so far as to say the mayor may have abused his power by acting alone without calling for the rescinding of the resolution by the whole commission. It’s not like he didn’t have time.

Gimenez might say, whenever he is called upon to answer to commissioners, that he used his power as mayor to make this “emergency” decision. But there is no evidence that there was an emergency here. There was no deadline. Other cities have challenged the federal government’s authority to withhold funds while legal experts point to supreme court precedents that give states and municipalities the upper hand and also limit the conditions the government to withhold funds. There is no logical reason that Gimenez could not have waited to make it a mayor’s item on the Feb. 7 meeting.

Read related story: Levine Cava questions Gimenez on sanctuary about-face

Our own county attorney’s office told commissioners in 2013 that the county was complying with the Secure Communities requirements by sharing information — addresses, phone numbers, photographs — with ICE and the detention2Department of Homeland Security. We have never stopped doing that since 2009. 

In 2013, commissioners adopted a new policy to release non-violent offenders who were also illegal immigrants unless the federal government covered the costs of prolongued incarceration and instructed the mayor to implement the policy. They did so mostly to save money. It was budget crunch time and they were told to look for extra funds to keep some of the programs that Gimenez wanted to cut in a drastic year after his 2012 re-election.

In a story published that year by the Miami Herald, Heyman said it wasn’t a purely financial decision.

“Not only is it about saving money. It’s about saving people,” she was quoted as saying.

What a difference three years makes, huh? 

Of coure, the 2013 resolution that halted the detentions is all about the costs. It states that 3,262 detainer requests were honored in 2011 and 2,499 were honored in 2012, at a cost of a little over $1 million and $667,000, respectively. Of those, 57% were inmates not charged with felonies in 2011 and 61% were in 2012. These are people that were held for 48 hours after they were bonded out or released at arraignment.

They also had the green light from then County Attorney Roger Cuevas, who had told them in July that “compliance with ICE detainer requests is voluntary and not mandated by federal law or regulations.” Basically, the detainers or 48-hour “hold requests” are just that, requests. Cuevas’ analysis included wording from federal law and forms that showed the word “request” used repeatedly. He told commissioners that if they decided to hold detainees detentionfor the 48 hours, there was no legal obligation for the federal government to reimburse costs.

Cuevas also attached a letter from ICE Assistant Director David Venturella in which he answers this direct question: “Is it ICE’s position that localities are required to hold individuals pursuant to Form I-247 or are detainers merely requests with which a county could legally decline to comply?” The response: “ICE views the immigration detainer as a request that a law enforcement agency maintain custody of an alien who may otherwise be released for up to 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays). This provides ICE time to assume custody of the alien.” 

All of this can be found in the minutes of the December 3, 2013 meeting.

But the new policy did still provide for the detention of illegal immigrants when they had been either previously convicted of a forcible felony or charged with a non-bondable offense, such as murder. This is according to a memo from former Corrections and Rehabilitation Department Director Timothy Ryan to the Department of Homeland Security. So, we were still turning over the most violent offenders. Now, we’re just turning over the minor offenders, too, perhaps even people who are arrested for traffic violations.

Read related story: Protesters have demands of Carlos Gimenez on sanctuary

And everyone expects the Trump administration’s detainer requests to increase so we may soon be turning over even more of them.

There’s really only one reason why Gimenez would have jumped the gun and reached over the commission’s head to Gimenezdo something that law enforcement experts say damages community policing at a time when police resources are low and street shootings are at a high. It is to please the president so that his son, CJ Gimenez, could get more and friendlier access for his new federal lobbying gig. Ladra can’t think of any other reason why he would reverse a county commission policy within 24 hours with a directive that is going to become his legacy — the first thing that comes up on him now for all history in every story and Wikipedia: “Carlos Gimenez, the immigrant South Florida elected who was the first and only mayor who acquiesced to Donald Trump’s threats against sanctuary cities…”

But he will soon have to explain for himself. Activists who have led a wave of public outcry that has resulted in two protests so far and whispers of a possible recall, promise to attend Tuesday’s meeting to demand answers.

So if commissioners don’t address the elephant in the room, the public will. 

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Somewhere around 300 immigrant advocates and social justice activists from more than a Gimenezprotestdozen organizations descended on Miami-Dade County Hall Tuesday afternoon to protest Mayor Carlos Gimenez‘s about-face on complying with federal immigration detention orders at the local level.

And they want him to take it back.

Last week, Gimenez instructed the director of the county’s Department of Corrections to start holding illegal immigrants arrested for unrelated crimes after their local charges are resolved so that U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services can pick them up. Tuesday’s protest, with close to 300 people, was the second in five days.

Read related story: Carlos Gimenez betrays the community for Donald Trump

It was also the first with a list of demands. Community leaders and organizations that signed onto the coalition that protested Tuesday — including Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), United Teachers of Dade, Service Employees International Union, Center for Community Change Action, New Florida Majority, Dream Defenders, United Families, Color of Change, Miami-Dade Democratic Party, Emerge Miami, Council on American Islamic Relations, Save Dade, For Our Future, United We Dream, We Count! and iAmerica — presented five tasks for the mayor.  

“Our coalition demands that Mayor Carlos Gimenez do the following,” read a statement issued Tuesday evening.

  1. Immediately withdraw last week’s directive to comply with Trump’s immigration order.
  2. Work with community stakeholders and legal advocates on additional steps to safeguardgimenezshrugs against Miami-Dade police officers ever acting as immigration-enforcement agents.
  3. Commit to working with mayors across the country facing the same threats from the Trump Administration, to present a coordinated response to these harmful and unconstitutional orders.
  4. Consult with commissioners and stakeholders before complying with any additional orders from the Trump Administration that contradict the laws, traditions and values of Miami-Dade County.
  5. Dedicate the remainder of his term to ensuring that Miami-Dade remains a welcoming place for all people. 

The statement says these measures will help build trust, save tax dollars from the likelihood of lawsuits, “recognize the irreplacable role of immigrants in the economy, society and history of our county,” honor the views of the majority of his constituents, who voted overwhelmingly agaisnt Trump and his policies, and “protect our entire community from the threat of Donald Trump’s hateful and un-American actions.”

Too bad that Gimenez wasn’t there, again (he was out of town during the first protest Friday). Because the protesters had some choice words for him.

“Coward,” was my favorite.

Read related story: Levine Cava questions Gimenez on sanctuary about-face

“As a Commissioner tasked with drafting policy that protects our citizens, I am frustrated and disappointed in Mayor krgprotestGimenez’ actions to comply with President Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-refugee executive order,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez said. “Mayor Gimenez had many options to protect our community.  Instead of consulting with his Commission and community leaders, Mayor Gimenez has the dubious distinction of being the first Mayor in the country to succumb to President Trump’s threats.

“He didn’t even put up a fight.”

Rosen Gonzalez told Ladra later that evening that she feels the county is a sanctuary county — with or without his blessing. “This is a policy that shows that Gimenez is out of touch with his constituents,” she said, adding that she will present a resolution to the Miami Beach Commission next week offering sanctuaryprotestthat city as a sanctuary city (more on that later).

“If Gimenez is not going to do the right thing then let’s do it in Miami Beach,” Rosen Gonzalez said. 

But what boggles her mind the most is how quickly Gimenez catapulted. “He didn’t have to. He could have waited with all these other mayors around the country.”

The commissioner speaks of the mayors of New York, Boston, Buffalo, San Francisco, Chicago, Syrcause, Austin and many other U.S. cities that have chosen to question the legality of the federal mandate. She and others talked about how Gimenez couldn’t have possibly forseen all the possible legal, economic and ethical impacts of his decision.

“Mayor Gimenez’ actions have immediate and very real consequences for our schools and our education system,” said Karla Hernandez Mats, president of United Teachers of Dade.  “Miami-Dade is a majority immigrant community and by complying with President Trump’s Executive Order, Mayor Gimenez is threatening our ability as educators to provide a quality education and a safe space to all children, regardless of immigration status.

Read related story: Joe Garcia to join Carlos Gimenez protesters at County Hall

Former Congressman Joe Garcia, who helped run one of the largest garciaprotestrefugee programs with the Cuban American National Foundation, said that Gimenez had the opportunity to emulate the late Monsigner Bryan Walsh, who led efforts to bring and relocate Cuban children during Operation Pedro Pan.

“The same way Monsignor Walsh stood up for refugee childfren who had no one and nowhere to go, today those of us who benefited from his vision and courage should also stand up and fight for those who have no one and nowhere to go,” said Garcia, who was born in Miami Beach to Cuban parents.

Gimenez was presumably doing the radio and TV rounds Tuesday afternoon, but he’s been dodging the live audience for days. He’s going to have to face the music sooner or later. Probably next Tuesday when Ladra suspects that Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava will make her follow up request an official item on the commission agenda or someone else will put forth something supporting the mayor’s flip. The public will have to be given an opportunity to speak.

Maybe Julio Calderon, an undocumented young man who is a member of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, will be able to address him personally.

“I have helped contribute to this city in many ways, including paying taxes, and I am devastated that Mayor Gimenez is willing to scapegoat the immigrant community for political gain,” said Calderon said Tuesday.

“Deporting me back to Honduras is the equivalent of a life sentence, because there is no guarantee I would survive the violent conditions of my native country. This is personal for me; but for Mayor Gimenez, playing politics with Trump outweighs the value of my life.”



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Former Congressman Joe Garcia will join others at County Hall this afternoon to protest joegarciaheadMayor Carlos Gimenez‘s directive last week to have illegal immigrants who are arrested for other crimes detained for federal immigration proceedings.

“While I’m a good friend of Mayor Gimenez’s, I think this is a mistake,” Garcia told Ladra Tuesday morning.

“Hopefully, he is going to reconsider.”

The protest Tuesday, organized by immigrant activists, is the second one in five days. Close to 100 demonstrators showed up to County Hall on Friday, a day after the mayor ordered the corrections department to hold anyone who has a federal detention order and turn them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But they were blocked from entering the public building. Wonder if Gimenez’s office is going to block a former congressman, too.

The protest today starts at 4:30 p.m. — just as county employees leave for the day.

Read related story: Carlos Gimenez betrays our community for Donald Trump

Immigration issues are important to Garcia, who lost a bid to retake his seat from U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo in November. Curbelo, btw, was one of the five Republicans who voted against a House measure that passed last week cutting off federal funds from the U.S. Department of Justice to states and cities that refuse to enforce current immigration laws.

“When I served in Washington, immigration was a very important thing to me,” Garcia said, adding that he ran one of the largest refugee programs when he headed the Cuban American National Foundation in the 90s.

“And it is very important that we stand with one of the things that make our community so rich. It’s not just the Cubans, it’s the Nicaraguans, the Colombians, the Hondurans,” Garcia said. “I think the signal he [Mayor Gimenez] sent to the rest of the country is a poor one.”

On Thursday, Gimenez sent a directive to Miami-Dade Corrections Director Daniel Junior instructing him to hold gimeneztrumpanyone in county custody who has a detention order from ICE. It reversed a long-standing tradition not to do so and a 2013 county commission resolution that states that the county will only comply with detainer requests once the federal government pays the county costs. Gimenez was the first, and so far the only, mayor to cave in to Trump’s threats.

“The city on the hill is what people in Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean see Miami as. And for us to go for the false narrative from the White House is wrong,” said Garcia, whose parents came to this country when they were 18 and 17 years old.

Read related story: Levine Cava questions Gimenez on sanctuary about-face

“Our mayor is a refugee himself,” Garcia added. “He may not have thought this all the way through.”

Okay, okay, but does this mean that Garcia is positioning himself for another run for office. Maybe for county mayor in 2020 (or sooner, if there’s a recall)? After all, he sent a press release from his campaign Nation Builder account (Update: He sent two; one Monday night and a reminder Tuesday afternoon).

“There is no election going on,” he told Ladra after he laughed a little. “And anyways, I’m a poor politician. This is something that is important. That is why I’m going to be there.”

Ladra wonders how many other electeds — past and present — will be counted, too.

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And what else might the mayor give up to Trump?

Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava is pushing back on the mayor’s decision last week to kowtow to dlcavaDonald Trump and betray not only the immigrant community in Miami-Dade but all of us.

She’s the only one. So far, anyway. But her questions could put the issue on the agenda for the next meeting next week.

Gimenez went against the whole county commission when he issued a directive Thursday instructing corrections officers to detain illegal immigrants — kowtowing to Trump’s threat to withhold federal funds from so-called sancutary cities — because it goes against a 2013 resolution to do the opposite.

Read related story: Carlos Gimenez betrays our community for Donald Trump

But as of Monday afternoon, only Commissioner Levine Cava seems to have questions and concerns about it. At least on the record. She asked the mayor in a memo Monday to brief the commission on the financial impacts and other consequences of his about face “as soon as possible,” and even suggests they consider joining other cities across the U.S. who have legally challenged the president’s executive order.

“Our community has followed with great interest recent changes in federal immigration policy and your response as to local implementation. I fully understand the need to hold people responsible for criminal acts and to utilize our law enforcement to ensure that all of Miami-Dade County is safeguarded. However, I am concerned as to how these new policies can be implemented fairly and without jeopardizing community safety.

It is generally recognized that detention of individuals on the basis of immigration status alone can suppress cooperation with local law enforcement, vital to protection of all residents. The policy outlined in Resolution R-1008-13 has worked effectively since 2013 to reduce fears in the immigrant community about the possibility of unwarranted detention, and has contributed to more positive police-communityLevine Cava relations than that experience in some other jurisdictions.

How can we continue our strong record of community policing and avoid unjust racial and ethnic profiling? What are the budgetary impacts of these policies, including the possible costs that could arise from legal action against the county for adherence to the new policies? It is vital that the county commission receive a briefing from you on these and  other questions as soon as possible.

I  look forward to your response as to these considerations and further suggest that we consider joining other jurisdictions in their pending lawsuits challenging the Executive Order pending a final determination by the courts as to its constitutionality.”

According to Alex Annunziato, legislative aide to Commission Chairman Esteban Bovo, that was the only memo requesting any kind of follow up on the mayor’s actions. Not any legislation or any discussion item request for the next meeting, again, as of Monday afternoon. But it’s early and the next commission meeting isn’t for another week.

Commissioners Jean Monestime and Sally Heyman sponsored the resolution in 2013, not because they love illegal immigrants or anything. They did it to save the juvenile boot camp program that the mayor was threatening to cut. Gimenez had challenged commissioners to find the monies needed to find several programs they wanted to save. This is where they found at least some of it.

But they also found so much more.

The resolution states that in 2011 and 2012 there were 3,262 and 2,499 detainer requests, detentionrespectively, from federal immigration officials — so Ladra doesn’t know where this 170-some figure that the mayor’s spokesman spewed out comes from — and that 57% of them had not committed felonies. The resolution also these detention orders to house these detaines for the additional 48 hours after their local charges had been resolved cost county taxpayers just over $1 million in 2011 and $667,000 in 2012 — not the low-ball figure the mayor’s office provided.

Furthermore, “a policy of blanket compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers could undermine trust between local police officers and the immigrant community of Miami-Dade.”

Commissioners loved the resolution so much that five more signed on to co-sponsor. They voted 10-0 to honor detention requests “only if the federal government agrees in writing to reimburse Miami-Dade County for any and all costs relating to compliance.”

Nothing has changed since then. It’s not like Trump suddenly whipped out a federal checkbook and wrote the county a check to cover our costs.

“How does he get around a commission resolution,” asked xavier suarezCommissioner Xavier Suarez, perhaps verbalizing the question everyone wants to know. “He did not act in a collegial way,” he told Ladra.

Suarez would have preferred that Gimenez had taken more time and weighed his option and noted the response of Broward and Palm Beach counties, which was to require court orders.

Gimenez even had political cover: He could have told The Donald or anyone pressuring from the federal government that he had to wait until the commission could meet as a whole. After all, it should be their decision. Right?

Another legitimate question for commissioners to ask is where is the money going to come from to comply with this executive order? If this Trump administration’s reputation sticks, the number of detention orders will likely surge. I’d go with the $1 million figure from 2011 and maybe double that. gimenezshrugsWill we have to cut more than the boot camp?

It’s hard to see where any vote on this might go. But we have at least one more protest on Tuesday to show commissioners just how the community feels about it. 

Gimenez missed the first protest Friday, when residents who were peacefully demonstrating against the change in policy were blocked from entering a public building. He apparently took off out of town right after his executive order and did not come back until Monday. But it seems he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.

The mayor did not reach out to Heyman or Bovo or any of the other commissioners before making his decision. But they’ve been supportive in public statements. Bovo, a Republican like Gimenez, has been more supportive than Heyman, a Democrat who has told the press that Gimenez was caught between a rock and a hard place.

Perhaps that is the way he’ll justify completely going over the commission’s head and against their resolution — because it was a fiscal emergency. That holds no water, though, because there is no looming deadline and some question as to the federal government’s jurisdiction in the first place.

There is no indication the mayor sought the advice of anyone in the finance department about the fiscal impact. There is no indication that he sought the legal opinion of our very well-paid county attorneys, despite the fact that cities across the nation have questioned the legality of Trump’s threat. There was no discussion about what it might cost the county in legal battles, as Levine Cava said. Ladra has asked for any communication between the mayor and the county attornegimeneztrumpy’s office, which you think they’d be able to provide rather quickly if it was something discussed recently, y nada.

As usual, this seems like it was just another knee-jerk reaction from someone who is supposed to be oh so experienced in public administration. Or maybe it’s more nefarious. His lobbyist son, CJ Gimenez, opened a new consulting firm to lobby the federal government based on his connection to the Trump organization, which he lobbied for in Doral. Could this be a way to make good with Trump after endorsing Hillary last fall?

And what’s next? I mean, if Gimenez can willy nilly just ignore a unanimously-approved commission resolution and issue his own conflicting executive order against it just to make nice with the president, what might come next?

If President Trump threatens to withhold federal funding to cities and counties that recognize and mitigate climate change and sea level rise, will Gimenez jump to scrap the mediocre efforts he’s bragged about too much for two straight years.

And what happens if Trump threatens to withhold federal dollars from any municipality that recognizes and respects transgender rights? Will Gimenez again jump however high to please his son’s former client and new greasy wheel?

Betha more county commissoiners will step forward to oppose him then.

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