Protestors denounce Sessions, Gimenez over county aiding feds in immigration detentions

About 40 people protested the Miami meeting Wednesday between U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who led the move to end Miami-Dade’s status as a sanctuary county shortly after President Donald Trump took office.

Sessions attended a conference at Port of Miami, praising Gimenez for ordering county jails to comply with federal immigration detention requests, overturning a 2013 county policy. In February, the County Commission voted 9 to 3 to back Gimenez.

The protestors, who marched to Port of Miami from the Torch of Friendship off Biscayne Boulevard, spent nearly two hours chanting phrases like, “When our families are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”

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On Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, protestors march past Bayside as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrived at Port of Miami with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Tom Homan. Sessions spoke at a conference at the port, praising Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade County for cooperating with the feds in immigration detention requests.


A handful of people took the bullhorn and shared their own personal immigration stories while denouncing Gimenez, Sessions and Trump.

Maria Rodriguez, one of the organizers, guided the group through a throng of police officers and across busy streets.

“This is our home and we are an immigrant state,” Rodriguez said. “In the same week we have experienced the tragedies of Charlottesville and have continued to endure Trump’s racist policies.”

Julio Calderon, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras, shared his story and struggled to hold back tears in the beating sun.

“I am clearly one of those who is affected by Gimenez,” Calderon said. “I don’t believe that I should be criminalized or deported because I fled a violent country to be here. I don’t deserve that and you can do better, Gimenez.”

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On Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, a protester disguised as President Donald Trump protested Trump’s recent comments over Saturday’s Charlottesville rally, in which neo-Nazis and white supremacists protested the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park in the Virginia city. The protesters on Wednesday, who marched to Port of Miami from the Torch of Freedom, decried U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was in Miami to praise the county for aiding federal authorities in their immigration detention requests.


Annette Taddeo, Democratic candidate for the District 40 special-election seat in the Florida Senate, attended the rally and spoke about being a Colombian immigrant. She criticized the immigration polices of the Trump administration.

“We know all about Cuban-Americans and their struggle, but what about the Venezuelans and what they are going through right now?” Taddeo said. “Are we going to kick them back to a country where there is so much instability?”