Bills to bar Michigan 'sanctuary cities' face headwinds in Lansing

Michigan United, a social justice advocacy organization, protested the bills in front of the state Capitol Tuesday. Like other opponents of the bills, they argue the legislation would overwhelm limited local law enforcement resources and encourage racial profiling. (Photo courtesy of Michigan United)

A pair of bills intended to ban “sanctuary cities” in Michigan revived debate over local immigration policy when they passed out of a House committee Tuesday.

The legislation, which would bar local governments from preventing police from cooperating with federal authorities’ immigration policies, was met with fury from civil rights groups and law enforcement in some urban areas. Opponents said they fear the bills would deter immigrants from reporting crimes and encourage racial profiling.

Republican House sponsors Beau LaFave, Iron Mountain, and Pamela Hornberger, Chesterfield Township, argue that their proposal is not meant to discriminate, but rather to protect local law enforcement who want to uphold federal immigration law.

LaFave said he has heard multiple reports of police officers who were fired or demoted for choosing to fulfill federal immigration authority orders, and it’s important the state protect local law enforcement officers from “political retribution.”

“I’m not mandating that anybody go and enforce immigration laws, (but) if an officer so chooses they should not be fired for doing so,” LaFave said.

State Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, rejects the notion that the bills are motivated by bias, arguing that they are instead intended to protect local police from retaliation for helping federal authorities in immigration cases.

The bills were originally introduced as the Local Government Sanctuary Policy Prohibition Act and the County Sanctuary Policy Prohibition Act, but were changed Tuesday to be titled the Local Government Law Enforcement Protection Act and the County Law Enforcement Protection Act.

If the bills were to become law, they could affect areas such as Kalamazoo, Wayne and Washtenaw counties and so-called “welcoming cities” which have indicated they will not detain immigrants for federal immigration officials without a warrant, or have said they will not ask residents about their immigration status when they report crimes.

The Kent County Sheriff enacted a similar policy after a Latino U.S. citizen and military veteran suffering from PTSD was turned over to ICE and detained before a lawyer stepped in, creating unflattering national headlines.

Rep. Alex Garza, D-Taylor, chair of the state Latino Legislative Caucus, protested the Republican bills in front of the state Capitol Tuesday with social justice advocacy organization Michigan United. He told Bridge he’s concerned the legislation won’t do anything to keep Michiganders safe and will unduly constrain local government.

“We really have concerns about tying the hands of local government in Michigan from enacting policy that they believe is best for their communities,” Garza said. He said his grandparents were immigrants who came to the U.S. to improve their lives and he wants that opportunity to continue for others. “We really want to go and look for people who are actually committing crimes in the State of Michigan, and not those who are actually looking to seek a better life for their family.”

Kimberly Buddin, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, said policies adopted by Michigan’s “welcoming” cities and counties are legal. Federal law, she said, only bars policies that prevent local authorities from sharing information on a person’s immigration status with the feds. Less clear is whether local officials can be compelled to collect that information in the first place, which many local police are reluctant to do.

The Republican bills, Buddin said, are “really a non-solution to a non-existent problem. It doesn’t do what the bill sponsors purport that it does. It’s very problematic.”

Instead of giving law enforcement more tools, Buddin said, the legislation will just make undocumented immigrants less likely to report crimes or serve as witnesses in criminal cases.  

LaFave, the Republican bill sponsor, rejected the notion that the legislation would lead to racial profiling and discrimination.

“Racial profiling is a bad thing and (so is) discrimination in all forms,” LaFave said in response to criticism. He encourages immigration, he said, but “I want to make sure that everybody has equal ability to get into our country based on merit and based on the content of their character and their willingness to adopt our norms and shared sense of civic duty and belief in our democratic republic.”

Similar legislation was introduced during the last legislative session, but did not receive a vote on the House floor. Though Republicans still hold majorities in the House and Senate, they are slimmer majorities, making passage difficult, and likely more so now that Democrat Gretchen Whitmer in the governor’s office.  

However, the Legislature may choose to advance the bills to test how Whitmer responds to such issues or to gain leverage for other priorities, such as the budget, said Sarah Hubbard, principal of Lansing-based lobbying firm Acuitas.

“Whether it’s a waste of time or not is completely beside the point, some of these things are more political in nature,” Hubbard said.

The bills, HB 4083 and HB 4090, have been referred to the House Ways and Means committee, where they will need to be approved before going to the House floor.

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Comments

Aldon M.
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 9:12am

Legal immigrants are United States' citizens, therefore, should be obeying the law. If they discover illegal immigrants, they should report them to authorities. If they want the illegal immigrants to stay in the United States', they should help them enter legally. After all, the legal immigrants came to the United States' because of what it offers, not to change it into the country they left .

LLA
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 2:15pm

I'm sorry, but did I miss the national memo that all legal immigrants are suddenly transformed into federal ICE officials and immigration lawyers upon gaining legal status? Why is it a legal immigrant's job to report illegal immigrants to authorities or assist them in entering legally?

duane
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 8:30am

My understanding is that a person who knows that a law [in this case a federal law] is being broken and hides that from civil authorities can be considered aiding and abetting the person [criminal] breaking the law and can be prosecute under the law even though they are not a principle violator of the law. And this is true for all in America, citizens, legal residents, tourists, and others [and this is not unique to America].

I would appreciate it if, a legal professional would, confirm or refute and better describe the act of knowing of a crime and hiding the on going commission of that crime from law enforcement.

middle of the mit
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 11:31pm

Does this apply to employers or those that contract employers that employ illegal employees?

I am sure if it does, there are employers that would and should want to know.

Should they be held accountable for employing illegals?

Jeff
Sun, 04/14/2019 - 11:35pm

Employers are already well aware and so are employees when they fill out an I-9 immigration status form.

duane
Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:55pm

This should apply to all, the owner of a business and employees no matter their position in the business.

Just like any other crime that someone knows is be perpetrated, they should be prosecuted as prescribed by law. A key here is that they are, by law, allowed to ask about legal status, born or naturalized citizen, having received a 'green' card, or whatever their status.

Chris
Thu, 04/18/2019 - 6:45am

The biggest problem with your “aiding and abetting“ theory is that there needs to be a crime in order to aid or abet, and being in the US without permission, while certainly illegal, is not a crime. Crossing the border without permission is, in fact, a crime. Of course, significant portions of the undocumented population did enter legally, so the simple fact that one is undocumented does not necessarily mean that one has to have committed a crime to get here.

middle of the mit
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 11:18pm

Shouldn't employers also report the illegals they incur, considering the fact that they are the ones employing them?

Chris
Thu, 04/18/2019 - 6:52am

No, all legal immigrants are not citizens. Almost nobody automatically becomes a US citizen upon legally entering the country. It does happen, but generally only in the case of the children of US citizens born abroad.

The world of immigration law is not as simple as “legal“ versus “illegal“ or “Citizen“ versus “noncitizen“. That would be like saying that all ice cream is either chocolate or vanilla. There are lots of flavors of ice cream and most people who enter the country with permission do not become citizens. Most people who enter the country lawfully become what are called legal permanent residents. They cannot vote but otherwise have all the rights and privileges of anybody else.

Fred Jensen
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 9:57am

It's illegal for immigrants to come here. That is the law. We have to many stupid ass government official that want to break the law. It's not about racial profiling and it never was. It's not about morality, it never was. If we don't have laws we don't have a country.

LLA
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 2:18pm

"It's illegal for immigrants to come here. That is the law." What? You can't seriously believe this is 'the law'...when did we close every single border and point of entry? Did I miss this national memo as well?
"We have to many stupid ass government official..." The irony. Speaking of stupid ass people in general, the correct word would have been 'TOO'.

Paul R
Mon, 04/15/2019 - 5:31pm

We have a process for coming here. Immigrants who follow the law are, and always have been, welcome here. It is those who try to cut to the front, and skip the process, who are breaking the law, and disrespecting those who did it the right and legal way. We can and should aggressively enforce our laws.

Amy B
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 4:03pm

Fred, there's so much to unpack in your comment it's hard to know where to start! Number one: It's absolutely NOT illegal for immigrants to come here. Number two: Your statement that "We have to (sic) many stupid a** government official (sic) that want to break the law" is vulgar, riddled with grammatical errors, and contains unsubstantiated opinion. If you want to make an intelligent argument for this legislation, you'll have to do better. Also, with your shallow grasp of the English language I wonder if you could pass the U.S. Citizenship test?

Edson
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 10:05am

Oh, these Rep. are from "border" cities! Now I understand.

Jon
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 2:42pm

What should be facing blow back is the fact that we have to pass legislation that makes people follow the laws on the books. It isn't profiling, it is not racist. Follow the immigration laws and there isn't an issue.

Bones
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 8:57am

Racism and xenophpbia are baked into America's immigration and enforcement system. Have you been living under a rock?

duane
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 12:12pm

Bones
Get real, Xenophobia is 'baked into' immigrants because that is how they were raised, they gravitate to enclaves of peoples of their race and other similarities. What is so disappointing in you remarks is that is convenient for you to ignore this fact to promote you attack on others. You ignore our history and how this self segregation has been true since the beginning of our history, even the 'Native Americans' self segregated and even went to war to prevent others from entering their communities.
In this case you want to attack the enforcement of our society's laws, you imply that xenophobia only exists in the immigration laws when we can look at current practice here and around the world to see that the immigrants practice xenophobia as soon as they enter our/other country[s]. Further what you fail to accept that our history shows as that immigrant xenophobia breaks down is when those groups individually [as the young] move out of their self imposed racial enclaves they assimilate and prosper.
You would rather make grand pronouncements that fail to recognize the reality of individuals [independent actions collectively] change society. Another reality is that all laws follow the wishes of the majority in the society and do not drive the change in societies.
If you truly want immigration law reform you would want the current situation stabilized so emotions would not rule the issues and experience would be allowed to point the way to change. But then your grand pronouncements would sound hollow and the issues would be resolve to the betterment of most.

Bones
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 1:14pm

"The immigrants are the real racists!"

Still an idiot, duane. Yes, immigrants tend to congregate because they hate the country theyve moved to, not because there's safety from racist morons like you and a sense of community in what is in increasingly a hostile country.

Native Americans self-segregated? That's a funny to say 'They were the target of a 300 year campaign of genocide'.

You have a warped notion of causality, and almost no knowledge of history. Anti-immigrant sentiment is one of the most consistent features of America, from Germans in the 1790s, to the Irish and Italians in the 1840s, to Latinos in the 1900s, to Muslims in the last few decades. Who it's acceptable to hate changes, but the hate has always been there.

Also, it's rich to imply that law follows the will of the majority. A cursory glance of the American government at this very instant would show you how ludicrous this opinion is.

duane
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 6:44pm

Bones,
I thought I had lived a shelter life, but then I listen to someone such as yourself and realize how much more I have had my mind opened by the breath of experiences and the willingness to learn from them. When you feed on the gaps between people only can see how a government 'elite' can change them, I see how individuals change things bridge the gaps.
If you are unwilling to see that xenophobia and racism is how you apply them only to fits your wants then you will not be part of any successful solutions. You wouldn't recognize these as generic terms that describe a mindset, attitudes, thinking that applies to micro cultures, to geographic gaps, social gaps, economic gaps, educational gaps then you can't be a contributor to shrinking those gaps.
Using your approach fails to recognize that xenophobia thinking is learn by the young in the playgrounds not at home, it is learn from peers and the creation of personal micro cultures of those they choose to associate and how they grow common bounds by perceptions of competition with other such micro cultures. Because once you realize that these are the mechanics of the social gaps, then you are able to begin to see how those gaps are bridged, how individuals can bridge those gaps, how those methods can apply to shrink/eliminating all such gaps.
Your mention of the Irish is a good example of how politicians exploited the immigrants' xenophobia to widen the gap and to perpetuate it by discouraging individuals crossing the gap. Look around now, you can see that Irish model happening. What are your examples of politics driving social change and acceptance rather than social change coming from individual actions collectively leading the politicians to write the laws?
Your dilution of politicians leading the voters, then you should be looking at former Vice President Biden's political career and how he followed the voters to change his positions on the issues of today.

David M
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 1:16pm

That was beautifully put. Spot on. Thank you for putting that out here.

David M
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 1:16pm

That was beautifully put. Spot on. Thank you for putting that out here.

Robert Hoffman
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 6:23pm

Duane--his "handle" should read "Bonehead"--his words prove my assessment OF him to be accurate, sadly. He's yet another person who chooses to eschew the following of established law, instead choosing to place "feelings" (emotion) over facts/logic/rationale, thus giving credence to a term I use often to describe many members of our society today--the "ignorant masses." sigh...

duane
Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:36pm

The weakness in your approach is you ignore the principle of the rule American law, America's 'Lady Justice' is blind, is about the actions, the facts.
The emotions, like those of a mother and father that so want their children to have a better life that their emotions drive them to bride people to get their children into a school they probably aren't prepared for, are removed from the case and the application of the law is about their actions. It is the rule of law that has been a building block of our society, it we left it to emotions it would be about the oratory skills [the ability to evoke emotions] that would weight our legal system, and that would drive justice going to the highest bidder, for the oratory skilled.

I know I have been one of the 'great unwashed masses', because “It’s the people without the money and the power, who desperately want to live, for those people small things aren’t small at all.” ― Ann Leckie, Ancillary Justice.
What I need you to help with is to understand what I am ignorant of that includes me in the masses that seem to so upset you. I view ignorance as something we can overcome, something we can by studying become enlightened. What, specifically, am I ignorant of?

Jonah 4
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 3:04pm

With the significant problems Michigan has with poor roads and schools, why is a representative from Iron Mountain concerning himself with sanctuary cities? Gad, I would think that any Representatives and Senators with the ability to think would work with the Governor concentrate on finding solutions to funding road and bridge repairs and replacements, helping educators find solutions for failing schools as well as solutions for water sources that are polluted.

There is just too much "grandstanding" by legislators as they continue to demonstrate an inability to find solutions to the real problems in Michigan. Shame on them and shame on the representative from Iron Mountain!

David Frye
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 4:55pm

More authoritarian nonsense from big-government Republicans. Mind your own business and leave our local governments alone.

JIM FOX
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 1:27pm

"Big Government Republicans?"

LMAO good luck selling that load.

Democrat Platform

*Open Borders.
*Sanctuary Cities.
*Elimination of ICE.
*Voting rights for illegal aliens.
*Pack the courts with radical liberal judges (Like the 9th circuit)
*Increase refugee's from the third world.
*Illegal aliens allowed to hold public office.
*Socialism.
*Free Abortions (Taxpayer funded)
*The green new deal.
*End of Electoral College
*Free health care for all including non citizens (taxpayer funded)
*Raise Minimum Wage
*Have adolescents vote
*!00% free college for all, including non citizens. (tax payer funded)
*Reparations for every race "harmed" by the white man.
*Convicts voting.
*Susie & Bobby using the same restrooms.
*Late term abortions.

JIM FOX
Thu, 04/11/2019 - 9:04pm

THE STAMPEDE:
Make no mistake, Democrats want this. They will with hold support allowing as many illegal aliens to enter the country before assisting in border security. Dems offer rewards, incentives so.....More caravans on the way. The current migration at our border is costing U.S taxpayers a Kings ransom. Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don't stay in Mexico when they reach "safety" or ask or offered political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars. Notice how many have made the long, difficult, dangerous journey to our country 8-9 months pregnant? Give birth on American soil and the U.S. taxpayers will not only pay for the birth of you're child but will also give you state government assistance.

TPS / DACA
To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals (DACA) are permanent programs. There is nothing "temporary or deferred" about these programs to Democrats. These programs are designed to admit refugees (usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently using the charge of racism, religion, guilt against anyone opposed. Simple formula works great.

THE PRICE:
It seems Democrats view U.S. citizens as acceptable collateral damage to their future long range goals of flooding the country with refugees & illegal aliens and having taxpayers paying the cost. Democrat politicians and their voters have put families at risk of being victimized by illegal aliens as in the cases Kate Steinly (nothing done) then, Mollie Tibbetts, (nothing done) Police Cpl. Ronil Singh, (nothing done) now Bambi Larson; butchered in her home, nothing will be done...who's next? These victims would be alive today if our border was secured. Most of these killers have been deported numerous times. Bambi 's killer claimed "amnesty" to get into the country.

Google search "illegal alien crime" or "victims."

Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as has been passed on to us.

*Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the millions spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. School class size are negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our students suffer as a result.

*Taxpayers in some states are funding "in state college tuition" discounts for illegal aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers over a billion dollars annually.

*About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, & more than 90% of those are in the U.S illegally. This does not include local jails and state prisons. At roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate.

*$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the criminal justice system.

*Mexico received 33 billion last year in remittance from our country. $120 billion total was sent out of the United States in total remittance last year.

*Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the US, the average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is $10,808, which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided before and after pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.)

* Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens & their families in poverty in many cases wait years behind non citizens for emergency housing.

* City emergency services Taxpayer pay for every police, fire, paramedic service call for illegal aliens in their city. Taxpayers also pay for all hospital, emergency room treatments, ambulances, medications....everything. Hospital wait times for citizens are negatively impacted.

Bones
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 9:03am

America's welfare state is a joke. Most immigrants from Central America hold conservative opinions and would probably vote Republican if not for the pervasive racism and demonization. Migrants come to America because their countries are dysfunctional, almost universally as a result of over a century of American imperial foreign policy and exploitation by American corporations.

And I know this is wasted on racist trash like you, but it needs to be said. You regurgitate Fox News talking points, but you never stop to ask why

Mike
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 11:04am

Illegal is illegal!!

Bones
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 1:01pm

It was also illegal to harbor Jews in Nazi Germany. Relying on the law to dictate your morality and ethics is a dead end

duane
Tue, 04/16/2019 - 1:20am

So you only though it to reach back eighty years to make you case. To be intellectually accurate you need to go deeper and show the equivalences to today, how the laws were formed, how they were enforced [how similar were the consequences], across the years of application, and you need to mention the difference. It would be like a person being summarily executed without due process comparing to a person simply being sent back home. It has to do with appealing only to emotions and disregarding context.

JIM FOX
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 12:00pm

Here is your classic liberal democrat blaming America and name calling. So you hate the content Gomer? but have neither the intelligence nor knowledge to challenge any of it? how sad for you. Maybe you could supply the "correct" information? numbers? of course you can't. None of my research has anything to do with Fox News, and even if it did, you couldn't challenge it. As for racist? I would GLADLY accept 10 south American refugees for every wimpy weak liberal like you we could deport. Refugees / illegal aliens aren't the problem, people like you are.

Amy
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 7:54pm

Well done!! I'm impressed, someone who can voice your opinion with facts! Thank you

Barbara
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 11:41am

“We really have concerns about tying the hands of local government in Michigan from enacting policy that they believe is best for their communities,” Garza said. He said his grandparents were immigrants who came to the U.S. to improve their lives and he wants that opportunity to continue for others. “We really want to go and look for people who are actually committing crimes in the State of Michigan, and not those who are actually looking to seek a better life for their family.”

THEN LET THEM COME TO THE U.S. LEGALLY!!! I believe all of us understand the desire to want better for ourselves & our families!! However, DO IT LEGALLY LIKE THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE YOU!!

Bones
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 1:06pm

Like who? The colonizers who waged a war of genocide on the native populace? The Asian men who built the railroads but couldn't bring their wives to America? The Mexicans who were cycled in and out of the country during Operstion Wetback? Which group of immigrants?

Red Road Dog
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 6:32pm

Bones--Dude--"Native Americans" WOW--Question: Where DID those "natives" COME from? I've heard they traveled here FROM the continent of Asia, using an ice bridge--"Native" Americans? How does arriving HERE from someplace ELSE make them what you call them here? FACT: It DOESN'T... They apparently CAME here, which also makes THEM "immigrants"--it's so simple, it's STUPID, yet YOU still likely don't GET it--Duly NOTED... smh

Car
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 2:02pm

Illegal entry is not immigration.

Car
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 2:05pm

Illegal entry into our country is not immigration.

Nanette Gray
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 5:22pm

Oh no you don't past this on to FB! Most people do NOT want sanctuary cities or even villages! What a farce to say it is about "immigrants" when we know full well it is about ILLIGAL immigrants. We are really sick of them "stealing" from hard working Americans and criminals being protected. How evil!

Robert Hoffman
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 6:16pm

Alex Garza is a CLOWN---He actually BELIEVES that local "policies" somehow should be followed when they are in direct contradiction TO established LAWS? YEP--typical politician, pandering to the "ignorant masses!" PATHETIC...

Anonymous
Fri, 04/12/2019 - 11:29pm

Yes I agree. Stop Separating them send them all back

George
Sun, 04/14/2019 - 4:36pm

Wow, the ignorance here is mind numbing. Did you know that "illegal" immigration is a misdemeanor? Like crossing the street where there is no crosswalk? Did you know that the very first immigration law limiting the free immigration of people was directed against the Chinese coolies who helped build the intercontinental railroad? Do you know that it takes 10 years to become an American citizen UNLESS you are a millionaire (6 months) or know somebody important? ( Melania Trump was here illegally and her parents were fast tracked in to the country)
Did you know that those coming in illegally are almost all surrendering and asking for amnesty? They cross "illegally" instead of going through a port because the ports are so backed up. This situation IS a mess but it won't be addressed with ignorance and bias. It takes information, thought, clear thinking and innovation.....all of which is in short supply in this county today

Gerald Barber
Sun, 04/14/2019 - 4:02pm

Our state or country should be allowing these illegals to stay much less house and feed them! There’s a proper way to come to this country it’s call wait your turn! Anyone come here illegally should never be allowed citizenship! Go sneak into some other country and see how your treated! I can garrenty you get jail time not free housing free money and healthcare!

Kathy
Sun, 04/14/2019 - 4:41pm

We need sanctuary cities and anyone who says we don't needs to take a good self evaluation. If you still feel getting rid of sanctuary cities you need more help and a new soul.

Doug L
Sun, 04/14/2019 - 6:37pm

Back in 1974, the federal government passed a law requiring states to have a 55 mph speed limit, or forfeit federal highway funds. Few seemed to have a problem with that at the time. Now the federal government is requiring states and cities to follow federal immigration laws, or forfeit federal money. What is the difference? If I am to violate federal law, I certainly need more incentive than just supporting those who are here illegally in the first place.

Jeff
Mon, 04/15/2019 - 12:08am

It is illegal for people to come to the U.S. without proper documentation and walk across any place other than a port of entry. They are guilty of a misdemeanor if caught and are supposed to be deported after a hearing. However, other parts of our laws conflict and make exceptions to this, such as the asylum laws,designed to offer refuge to those being persecuted due to religion, ethnicity, etc., and conflagration of judicial made laws. Even though it doesn't make the news, some states have had to cut back on benefits (Maine did) for everyone and transferred, in the case of Michigan, billions of dollars for refugee and asylum seeker benefits as they are federally mandated. When the "Syrian War Refugees" (less than 20% were from Syria or the war) were assigned to Michigan from the refugee camp in Jordan, Michigan had to transfer some $2 billion of appropriations from other state departments to cover the cost of benefits. Roads are a partial result of this. Asylum seekers are eligible for the same benefits as a single mothers basically. Refugees get far more to the point they never have to work if they choose not too. As well, their benefits for either category never expire. Meaning if someone goes to work and is no longer qualified due to income and loses their job, they automatically pick right back up on the state benefits. Unless Congress does something to stop the 100,000 people coming in to the country every month, either the state benefit programs will begin to either start reducing benefits, taxes will have to be raised substantially, or people will begin to push back, possibly at the next election. We simply cannot let everyone in who wants to come here and we definitely don't have the resources to take care of them all. Ask Texas. They have 267,000 illegal immigrant felons in their jails and prisons who were sentenced to at least 3 years. Some 100,000 were deported before, came back and then committed another felony. Some 25,000 of them between 2003 and 2009 were murders there and the rest of the country. Regardless of what people might think of this comment, these are all verified facts that can't be ignored.