Michigan lawmakers want details of migrant housing program



(The Center Square) – Two Michigan lawmakers have asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to provide more transparency about the impact on the state of the ongoing migrant crisis at the southern border.

Republican Sens. Roger Hauck of Mt. Pleasant and Lana Theis of Brighton wrote a letter to the second-term Democrat after the Office of Global Michigan asked Michiganders to let refugee families live in their homes.

The Department of Labor and Economic Development said it will offer up to $500 in rent assistance to resettle and find affordable housing for refugees and asylees in Michigan.

“Programs like the Welcome Corps advance the Office of Global Michigan’s mission to make Michigan the home for opportunity for our immigrant, refugee and ethnic communities,” Michigan’s Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Poppy Hernandez said in a statement.

The letter said that in December, the U.S. Border Patrol recorded more than 250,000 encounters with migrants at the Mexico border – a new all-time high. The new record marked the 10th time encounters have eclipsed 200,000 in a month since 2021.

“President Biden’s open border policies have allowed a record number of illegal immigrants to enter the United States – including known and suspected terrorists,” Hauck and Theis said in a statement. “They have also allowed an exponential flood of the dangerous drug fentanyl in communities across the country. This influx of illicit fentanyl and unvetted individuals pose a grave threat to our national security and the safety of American citizens.”

From October 2020 to last month, the U.S. Border Patrol encountered 331 individuals on the Terrorist Screening Dataset between ports of entry along the southern border – an increase of more than 2,900%.

“These numbers are staggering,” Theis said in a statement. “This is a nationwide problem – local governments across the country are not only voicing their concerns about the safety of residents, but the drastic strain on resources these policies are having. So-called sanctuary cities are quickly walking back their self-imposed status as reality sets in, and the problems associated with the migrant crisis continue to compound.”

It is unclear how many migrants are being located in Michigan through this new program.

The lawmakers say the governor needs to adequately address the impact these policies can and have had on the state of Michigan.

“Once again, the governor is ignoring national security concerns and placing residents at risk as she pushes her outrageously partisan agenda,” Theis said. “She has the nerve to tell the whole state that there is a housing crisis in Michigan, yet we’re opening our doors to an unknown number of unvetted individuals. Worse yet – she is asking residents to open their own homes to help her self-inflicted problem and using taxpayer dollars as a bribe.”

The Center Square was unsuccessful in gaining a response from Whitmer’s office.

Michigan Freedom Fund Communications Director Mary Drabik told The Center Square that the “lack of clarity” leaves the possibility of illegal immigrants at the border to settle in Michigan.

“People have a right to be concerned when the governor has a habit of borrowing the worst policies from the state of New York,” she said.

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