Miami-Dade County immigration policy prompts federal lawsuit

Lawsuit claims Garland Creedle falsely imprisoned, challenges mayor's decree

"We are an inclusive county," Gimenez said. "We are a county of immigrants. I am an immigrant to this great country. We are also a country of laws."

MIAMI – Miami-Dade County is facing a federal lawsuit over its immigration policy.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Miami on behalf of Garland Creedle, an 18-year-old man who was born in Honduras and came to the United States in 2015.

Creedle was arrested in March after an alleged domestic dispute in which no charges were filed. He posted bond, but Miami-Dade County corrections officers received a detainer request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and held him on the assertion that he was "a removable alien," the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit seeks to challenge the validity of the county's immigration policy, based on a Jan. 26 directive from Mayor Carlos Gimenez to "honor all immigration detainer requests."

Gimenez's decree came after President Donald Trump threatened to cut off funding for "sanctuary cities." Gimenez is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Miami-Dade County "has engaged in a practice of detaining all individuals subject to an immigration detainer beyond the time they would otherwise be entitled to release," the lawsuit alleges. "Mr. Creedle's detention was therefore made under color of law."

The lawsuit also claims that Creedle's constitutional rights were violated when he was unlawfully held against his will.

Attorneys representing Creedle are seeking compensatory damages and demanding a jury trial.

"We warned the county about the dangers posed by the premature decision to cave in to the Trump administration's anti-immigrant threats," American Civil Liberties Union of Florida attorney Amien Kacou said in a statement. "Miami-Dade County has long prided itself on being a place welcoming to immigrants, and should honor that legacy by joining other cities large and small across the country in refusing to serve as tools of overzealous immigration enforcement policy."