Trump to deny funding of 'sanctuary cities,' including Miami, Fort Lauderdale

Executive order would deny federal grants to cities

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Cities across South Florida may soon lose federal money after President Trump signed an executive order to deny funding for "sanctuary cities."

Miami and Fort Lauderdale are often considered to be "sanctuary cities," defined as being a city that is a safe haven for illegal immigrants.

In November, the Florida Legislature branded Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties among seven in the state to be sanctuary communities.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez denied to Local 10 News on Wednesday that the county disobeys any federal laws regarding immigrant detainees and is not a "sanctuary city."

Like Gimenez, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said he doesn't consider Broward to be a "sanctuary."

He said the BSO "follows and enforces state and federal laws. Nothing more, nothing less." 

The executive orders will also seek to end the practice of releasing undocumented immigrants detained by federal officials before trial.

It is not known which types of federal grants will be withheld or when it would take effect, but any impact will not be felt for months.


White House press secretary Sean Spicer has said Trump wants to prioritize the removal of undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes in the U.S., but has refused to say whether deportation priorities would change. Trump during his campaign called for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., though he signaled the "good ones" could return to the U.S. under an expedited process.

Trump's actions came as part of a series of executive orders which also includes building a wall at the Mexican border.

Construction of the wall could begin in months, but planning for the massive project is "starting immediately," Trump said Wednesday in an interview with ABC News.

Trump confirmed his plans to build the wall with federal funds and then seek reimbursement from Mexico, an idea Mexico has resisted. But negotiations, he said, would begin "relatively soon."

"I'm telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form," Trump said.