#Breaking: New Miami Times: "Carlos Gimenez pisses people off..."

Update: The mayor's spokesperson, Michael Hernandez, says calls to Gimenez's office were occasionally being rerouted to the county's 311 call center rather than the mayor's office, thus leading to confusion between the departments.

Hernandez says that he personally oversees the 311 call center and that all call operators have now been instructed to take down citizens' comments.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez's decision to honor President Donald Trump's crackdown on undocumented immigrants could affect more than 1,000 people this year, according to a Miami Herald analysis.

But if you're upset about that news, you'll have to try to reach the mayor via email. 

His office is now refusing to take calls related to Trump's sanctuary-city ban.


Two sources have told New Times that desk assistants in Gimenez's office declined to forward their phone calls to the mayor — and when this reporter called Gimenez's office around 4:15 p.m. yesterday and asked to leave the mayor a message, an employee said an email statement was the only option to lodge a complaint against the move.

Because Gimenez's office has received "such a high volume of calls" about the sanctuary-city order, the receptionist said, employees have been instructed to stop taking phone messages about the subject. The assistant said the mayor's office was tallying the number of calls it received regarding the order, but as of yesterday, the receptionists had been instructed to stop counting.

Gimenez's spokesperson, Michael A. Hernandez, told New Times last night that the mayor's office is investigating the situation. But because Gimenez has already been accused of violating the First Amendment once within the past eight days, the call-screening fits into a dreadful week of PR. It's difficult to see how ordering employees to ignore the complaints of constituents helps the mayor's problem.

"He was against our immigration policy and told our constituents to call. And they did. All. Day. Long. All I did all day was answer phones."

— Emily Ellsworth (@editoremilye) November 12, 2016


On January 30, a team of five lawyers wrote Gimenez a letter, claiming the lockdown had violated the First Amendment.

Over the weekend, Gimenez then attacked one prominent protester outright and then accused local labor activist Tomas Kennedy of fabricating a rumor that ICE had set up "deportation checkpoints" in Miami last week.

Now Gimenez is shoving his head even further into the sand to avoid addressing the fallout from his own decision. The County Commission will hold a meeting February 17 to discuss overturning Gimenez's move, and the ACLU is asking Miamians to call their county commissioners to voice their thoughts on the rule change.

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