FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – More fallout from President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily suspended the U.S. refugee program and barred immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, announced Tuesday that it had filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of more than 20 plaintiffs, including CAIR-Florida Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly.
“This is the time that we are truly making America great again by challenging this discriminatory, unjust, oppressive, and illegal policy. We will make America great by making sure that it remains a free and just nation for all people, regardless of their race or religion,” said Shibly.
Shibley said Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” has created chaos.
“Thousands of people coming here seeking freedom, coming here to return to work, to visit their families, have been detained for hours, some people wrongfully deported.”
So far, lawsuits have been filed in 15 states and the District of Columbia in opposition to Trump’s edict.
CAIR-Florida and other groups planned a rally Tuesday afternoon at the Miami-Dade Government Center to protest Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s decision to cooperate with Trump’s directive that cities and counties aid in immigration enforcement.
Mayor Gimenez says the protesters are off the mark.
Gimenez reportedly did an about-face on the policy after President Trump vowed to cut off federal funding for so-called “sanctuary cities.” Miami-Dade County was on the Department of Justice’s official list.
Gimenez told CBS4 News on Tuesday that the county has placed a 48-hour “hold” on undocumented aliens only when the federal government requests it. Gimenez said that policy was put in place in 2013, after being ordered to by the administration of President Barack Obama.
It was Obama’s administration, Gimenez said, that threatened to cut federal funding if the county did not cooperate.
Gimenez said the policy remains as it has been. When asked, the county will hold an immigrant charged with a crime for 48 hours, and let them go if ICE doesn’t pick them up.
A coalition put together a demonstration at the front of county hall.
They were not only unhappy with Trump’s immigration policies, but also unhappy with Gimenez for allowing the feds to pick up and deport undocumented immigrants charged with crimes.
Organizers from many political and activists groups marshaled their members to the event.
Many at the demonstration were no strangers to political activism.
“We have children that are scared of coming to school. We have parents that are afraid to drive students to school because they are afraid of deportation,” said Karla Hernandez Mats, the head of the Miami-Dade Teachers Union.
An undocumented activist from Honduras, who lives in Miami, fears death if deported.
“I do not believe I should be deported based on what’s happening in Honduras and that I am an activist in Honduras. I can get killed if I get deported,” said Julio Caldron.
Opposition to the travel ban cost former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates her job.
Yates publicly questioned the constitutionality of the executive order and said she was not convinced it was lawful or consistent with the agency’s obligation “to stand for what is right.”
After terminating her, the White House issued a statement which criticized Yates, a Democratic appointee, for being “weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration,” it added that she had “betrayed the Department of Justice” by refusing to enforce Trump’s order.
Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was sworn in to replace her. Boente expected to serve until Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for the position is confirmed by the Senate.
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