Small protest held in Miami during scheduled visit of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Sessions gives prepared speech at PortMiami

MIAMI – A small protest was held Wednesday in Miami while Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited South Florida.

Several resistance groups totaling about 30 people gathered in downtown Miami Wednesday afternoon to protest President Donald Trump's immigration policy.

The protesters came from South Florida and other places around the world. 

"I'm outraged," Nikita Leus-Olivia said. "I think it is a shame that he represents our county, because that's not what anyone stands for and that's not what any of us believe in, especially not the people here."

Miami police followed the group, who met at Bayfront Park, as they peacefully marched from the Friendship Tower to the entrance of PortMiami to the Freedom Tower. 

"It's wrong," Juan Cuba said. "We are in front of PortMiami, and it is says we are in the gateway of America, and that's being shut down because of this policy." 

Miami Commissioner Ken Russell also marched with protesters.  

Sessions praised Miami-Dade County during his prepared remarks at PortMiami for following federal policy as it relates to detaining illegal immigrants in custody.

"I know that Miami-Dade will be an example of the good that comes from following the law," Sessions said. "We have already seen that the same Independence Day weekend when Chicago suffered more than 100 shootings and 15 homicides, Miami-Dade also had a historic number of shooting deaths -- zero."

The attorney general has said that Miami-Dade Carlos Gimenez did the right thing by signing an executive order to change the county's policy on holding criminal aliens for federal immigration officials.

"So to all 'sanctuary' jurisdictions across the country, I say this: Miami-Dade is doing it, and so can you. Work with us to enforce a lawful immigration system that keeps us safe and serves our national interest," Sessions said.  

Miami-Dade County has previously stopped holding undocumented immigrants in county jails after they had served their time because the federal government was not paying for the cost of housing them.

But the mayor said earlier this year that Miami-Dade County has to adhere to the government's immigration detainer requests or it will risk losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds for other local projects, including mass transit.

Sessions said people who live in Miami-Dade County understand that "rule of law guarantees equality and opportunity."

"No one understands this better than the Cuban-Americans here in Miami-Dade," Sessions said. "When they came to America, they saw firsthand that only the rule of law and the equal application of that law can preserve our God-given rights. 

"They understand that no single person -- whether a dictator or a mayor -- should determine whose rights are protected and whose are not."

Sessions said the reason why the county is choosing to work with federal law enforcement is to protect the guarantee that all Americans have "full and equal protection under the law."



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