Six Federal Grants To South Florida That Trump Could Threaten Under Sanctuary Cities Order

Mar 16, 2017

It has been more than one month since President Donald Trump signed an executive order proclaiming he would punish what he called sanctuary cities. In those jurisdictions, local governments do not cooperate with with federal authorities’ efforts to deport immigrants living illegally in the U.S.

Trump’s administration has yet to list which cities are sanctuary jurisdictions. But the executive order, signed January 25, stated the federal government would withhold grants to them.

Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered county police to cooperate with the feds two days after Trump signed his order. After discussion, the County Commissionvoted on February 17 to comply with the order, which means that if federal immigration authorities ask county police to give them an arrestee, police will do so, even if the feds have no warrant or court order. Census data shows 52 percent of county residents are foreigners.

But Broward County Commissioners passed a resolution February 7 declaring Broward “an inclusive County which welcomes, celebrates, and offers refuge to all residents and visitors irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin.”

Jails in Palm Beach and Broward Counties only honor requests from federal immigration officers if accompanied by a warrant or court order.

It is unclear if Trump can cut all federal grants to South Florida.. If he did, could mean losing hundreds of millions of dollars for a wide range of programs -- from helping poor preschool kids, to extending Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport’s runway, to helping people with AIDS find apartments.

Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties received more than $627 million in federal grants for its 2016 fiscal year, which goes from October 2015 to September 2016. WLRN analyzed grant data from USASpending.gov to find the biggest grants and what they pay for.

The interactive map shows how much grant money the federal government spent in South Florida in 2016. Basically, the darker the green, the more federal money a county receives per resident.

The data shows that while Miami-Dade County got awarded the most overall, Monroe County got the most per person. For each resident, Monroe received an estimated $265.14, Miami-Dade got $152.29, Broward got $60.91, and Palm Beach got $57.34.

Where is this money going to? Below are six biggest grants the Federal government granted in South Florida, and what they paid for:

  • $58.7m for Head Start in Miami-Dade County. Head Start is a national program meant to help babies and preschool-aged kids of poor families. The program provides healthy food, health checkups, and helps place kids in pre-Kindergarten schools. It also helps qualifying pregnant women get prenatal screenings and health referrals.
  • $20m to Broward County as part of the $2 billion Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport runway extension. The project is meant to reduce flight delays caused by how little space exists for airplanes compared to how many passengers use the airport. The first phase of the runway expansion opened September 2014.
  • $11.56m to the City of Miami for Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS. This program helps pay the rent of poor residents with AIDS and their families. The program assisted 1,125 renters in and around Miami in 2015, according to figures provided by city spokeswoman Christine Bermudez. Figures for 2016 are being processed, Bermudez said.
  • $11.5m to Monroe County for improvements to airports.
  • $11.28m to Miami-Dade from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for repairing and running public housing. Fixes included replacing windows, doors, air conditioning units, lights, fences, security cameras, sewage and draining systems.
  • $7.2m to Palm Beach County School District from the Department of Education for five magnet schools. The grant is meant to help pay for laboratories, lab equipment and teacher training for the International Baccalaureate program. The program is meant to teach students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. An estimated 7,763 students from Palmetto Elementary, Grove Park Elementary, Howell L. Watkins Middle, Carver Middle, and Congress Middle are expected to be part of the program.