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Michigan Republican confuses NCAA basketball team for ‘illegal invaders’

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(The Center Square) – A Michigan Republican confused the Gonzaga basketball team traveling to the NCAA March Madness tournament in Detroit for “illegal invaders.”

The mistake follows a week after a 25-year-old who immigrated to the U.S. illegally and was deported in 2020 returned and killed his 25-year-old partner Ruby Garcia and left her body on the side of U.S. 131 after stealing her car.

Rep. Matt Maddock, R-Milford, posted on social media a photo of buses at Detroit Metro Airport with the caption:

“Happening right now. Three busses [sic] just loaded up with illegal invaders at Detroit Metro,” Maddock wrote. “Anyone have any idea where they’re headed with their police escort?”

Despite being quickly corrected by many people including X’s fact checker, Maddock doubled down, calling someone a “kommie.”

State. Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, reposted a screenshot of the post, saying:

“A sitting State Representative sees a group of busses at the airport and immediately yells “illegal invaders” which is a pretty rude (and also, frankly, dangerous) way to greet the Gonzaga Men’s Basketball Team arriving for March Madness.”

A quick search shows the Gonzaga basketball team landing in Detroit to compete in the Sweet Sixteen. A social media post shows team players with the caption: “Wheels up to the Motor City.”

Michigan Republicans are critical of the Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration’s Newcomer Program that provides eligible households with rental assistance up to $500 per month for up to 12 months, with eligibility based on immigration status and household income.

Documents obtained through records request from The Center Square show the program launched in October 2023 received $1.25 million in 2023 and 2024. The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement gave $204,000 in 2023 and $13,200 in 2024 while the Michigan State Housing Development Authority gave the program $135,600 in 2023 and $900,000 in 2024.

To date, 245 applications have been approved, for a total of 1,240 people. There were 67 applications in 2023, a total of 339 people, and 178 applications in 2024, a total of 901 people.

Michigan Republicans in the minority of the Senate want to ban sanctuary cities. However, Democrats hold the governor’s seat and are expected to win back control of the House in April.

In 2022, Republicans lost control of the House and Senate after 40 years.

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