Ft. Lauderdale, FL — On Feb. 7, 2017, the Broward County Board of Commissioners issued a resolution to demonstrate its commitment to welcoming immigrants and refugees regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, and country of origin.
Francesca Menes, Policy and Advocacy Director of Florida Immigrant Coalition, released the following statement:
“Broward has taken a courageous first step in making immigrants feel welcome, showing that the County Commission is willing to do what it takes to protect Broward families, no matter where they come from. With this resolution, Broward County is putting the safety of our communities ahead of politics.
“We urge all cities and counties in South Florida, and across the state, to stand firm against any threats to our vibrant immigrant communities. This is not the time to crumble and give in to questionable executive orders that may not even be constitutional. Thankfully, Broward is proving much more resilient against this toxic wave of xenophobia. We applaud their bravery on this day, and look forward to their next steps in the fight to welcome and protect all Broward residents.”
The decision by Broward officials to support immigrant families, regardless of status, comes on the heels of similar votes of support by leaders in Hillsborough County and St. Petersburg. The resolution lies in sharp contrast to Miami-Dade County, where residents await word from their County Commissioners as to whether they will agree with County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s decision to capitulate to President Donald Trump’s Executive Order mandating that localities hold undocumented immigrants for the federal government at taxpayer expense.
Advocacy groups, including the FLIC and the Southern Poverty Law Center, insist that contrary to Mayor’s Gimenez’s recent directive, the county does not face any imminent threats to federal funds by keeping the current policy of keeping law enforcement separate from immigration enforcement,