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After hours of debate, the Miami-Dade Commission voted 9-3 in support of Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s policy to honor any detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Jean Monestime, Daniella Levine cava, Xavier Suarez were the three commissioners to vote against it.
A crowd, overwhelmingly in opposition to Gimenez’s policy, began chanting “shame on you, shame on you” after the commission vote.
More than 250 people signed up to speak before the commission.
Of all the speakers, on either side, a group of kids drew the most attention.
“Do you have an idea of what to do with me? I’m an American citizen and I’m an orphan, my father was deported.”
“Hi, my name is Shirley. I’m 7 years old and I need someone to make my breakfast in the morning before going to school, someone to help me make my homework, someone to make my dinner, someone to give me a kiss before bed. But who here will do it. I need my parents, and my father was deported to Honduras.”
Gimenez, who claims that the county had no choice because it would risk millions in federal funding, said any shame should come from people spreading lies about what this change of policy means.
“Created fear in the minds of our residents of our documents and, unfortunately, even children. And I think that’s outrageous,” he said.READ MORE: Feds Pay First Florida School District For COVID-19 Mask Mandate
In a news conference after the vote, he stressed that the county is not going in business with the feds.
“There are people trying to put fear in the lives of our residents here in Miami-Dade County that Miami-Dade police will somehow become immigration officers. I was very clear that we will not we have never been,” he said.
But protesters took their voices out onto the street, making it clear that they’re not buying it. They also warned that this fight is not over.
“We’re so inspired, we’re so unified now that we are ready to see what’s coming ahead and this is just one battle out of the whole war that’s ahead of us,” said Juan Carlos Carabantes.
It’s been three weeks since Gimenez made a change to county policy, which sparked a public outcry from the community.
“I think we are praying on people that are helpless and the way we are going about this is just really wrong and I’m embarrassed,” said Nicole Wagner.
Thursday evening dozens gathered in front of Homestead City Hall to protest Trump’s immigration policies.
“This march is to protest against what’s going on with immigrants. To protest against what President Trump is doing with our people – deporting them, some of them without a cause,” protester Guadalupe Arciniega said.
Similar scenes took place around the nation in placed like Chicago, D.C. and North Carolina.
Ana Saucedo held a sign that read “Immigrants Make America Great” – a play on the president’s campaign slogan.MORE NEWS: Miami Weather: Partly Cloudy With Scattered Afternoon Storms Through Saturday, Cold Front Moves In Sunday
“I just want to show that without us, there’s a major change in our world because immigrants are what make America,” she said. “So without us, there is no America.”