A Florida state judge last week ruled that President Trump’s sanctuary city executive order unconstitutionally coerced a county, which had been holding an alien for pickup and deportation by ICE. Eleventh Judicial Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch granted the alien’s claim and ordered his release even though there is no precedent for individuals making such claims based on the 10th Amendment.
Prior to the issuance of the president’s executive order (EO 13768), Miami-Dade County refused to recognize ICE detainers. But Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez decided to reverse his stance rather than risk the loss of federal funds for failing to comply with such detainers.
The alien in question is James Lacroix, a Haitian national who had legally entered the United States under Temporary Protected Status following the 2010 earthquake. He was arrested several times for driving on a suspended license and for battery and aggravated assault. He was in the process of pleading guilty to a felony charge of habitually driving on a suspended license when an attorney intervened. The attorney petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus to order Lacroix’s release after he finished his sentence.
Judge Hirsch ruled the federal government is constitutionally prohibited from forcing Miami-Dade to hold Lacroix a prisoner, and the County is prohibited from complying. Hirsch cited the Supreme Court’s 2011 case Bond v. United States as allowing Lacroix to claim a Tenth Amendment violation. However, as Breitbart’s Ken Klukowski noted “The Supreme Court has previously only allowed states to make a coercion challenge against Congress. While this claim could possibly be raised by a county or city as part of the state, nothing in Supreme Court precedent suggests that individual persons can raise the claim. Moreover, all such Tenth Amendment claims have only been raised against the federal government, never in a case against state or local officials, as is happening here.”
Miami-Dade County is now appealing the case (Lacroix v. Junior) to the Florida court of appeals. The county said the matter should be handled in a federal court because "immigration is a federal issue.”
Updated: Tue, May 10th 2022 @ 8:05am EDT