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Current and former city of Miami mayors chide county for abandoning 'sanctuary' stance


The current and former mayors of the city of Miami -- a Republican and a Democrat, respectively -- have publicly chided Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez for directing county jails to comply with federal immigration detention requests following President Donald Trump's crackdown on "sanctuary" jurisdictions for immigrants in the country illegally.

Mayor Tomás Regalado tweeted Friday night that he's "disappointed" by Gimenez's Thursday decision. Regalado also seemed to indicate city cops have no interest in acting as immigration deputies -- something Gimenez insists the county won't be doing either, even as it subsidizes federal detentions. The city doesn't manage any jails of its own.

Several Twitter users, perhaps unaware that the county and city are separate jurisdictions, had apparently confused Regalado with Gimenez, and Regalado responded to them as well.  

Regalado and Gimenez have been at odds politically for decades, most recently when Regalado’s daughter ran last year against Gimenez. When big-city mayors urged then-President-elect Trump last month to protect “DREAMers,” immigrants brought into the country illegally as children, Regalado was quick to offer his support. Gimenez took longer to say he backed President Barack Obama’s program to protect DREAMers from deportation.


Separately, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz wrote in a Miami Herald op-ed that Gimenez, a Republican and Diaz's friend, acted too hastily, without seeking enough legal guidance about Trump's executive order. 

"While other mayors have taken an approach that protects their communities, Mayor Gimenez has rushed into action to please the president, betraying our community’s long history of welcoming immigrants," Diaz wrote.

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He argued that Miami-Dade, which already notifies the feds of all of the people it arrests and is willing to detain them as long as Immigration and Customs Enforcement defrays the expense, already complied with Trump’s order.

Both mayors weighed in after angry protesters demonstrated outside County Hall on Friday, and deluged Gimenez's office with phone calls and emails opposing his directive.

All three mayors -- Diaz, Gimenez and Regalado -- were born in Cuba.