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Michigan Republicans want to ban sancturary cities after homicide

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(The Center Square) – Michigan Republicans want to ban sanctuary cities in the state after a man who entered the country illegally allegedly murdered a 25-year-old woman in Grand Rapids last week

Brandon Ortiz-Vite, 25, was deported in 2020 but reentered the United States illegally, bought a gun illegally and used it to shoot his partner 25-year-old Ruby Garcia multiple times before stealing her car and leaving Garcia on the side of the road of U.S. 131.

House Republican Leader Matt Hall, R-Richland Township, called on President Joe Biden’s administration to secure the southern border.

“Joe Biden’s failure to secure the border has allowed multitudes of illegals — including dangerous criminals — to break into our country,” Hall said in a statement. “This illegal immigration crisis has bred deadly consequences right here in Michigan. A secure border would have kept Ruby Garcia’s murderer out of our state and nation, but Democrats have refused to fully enforce our immigration laws and national security.”

Before his deportation, Ortiz-Vite had been arrested multiple times in Kent County. He was convicted of illegal entry into a residence, and he had an outstanding bench warrant in Grand Rapids for a 2020 case of suspected drunk driving and driving without a valid license.

In a letter to Chair Tullio Liberati, D-Allen Park, Hall urged the House Government Operations Committee to hear his plan to ban sanctuary cities and counties. The legislation aims to prohibit counties and municipalities from adopting policies that prevent local employees from communicating or cooperating with federal immigration officials.

Hall and House Republicans introduced the bills nine months ago.

“Rogue politicians in Michigan communities put public safety at even greater risk when they refuse to work with federal officers trying to apprehend illegals,” Hall said in a statement. “These sanctuary cities and counties invite proven criminals, like Ruby’s killer, to come where they can hide from deportation even if they’re arrested for another crime. Disastrous sanctuary policies impede the work of federal immigration officials and exacerbate the public safety crisis. We must ban sanctuary cities to protect Michigan residents.”

Grand Rapids is an official welcoming city, meaning that it has policies separating local law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement agencies, and Kent County is a sanctuary county.

Hall sponsored House Bill 4880 to ban sanctuary policies for counties, and he co-sponsored HB 4879 to do the same for cities, villages, and townships.

Cheboygan Republican Rep. Cam Cavitt, sponsored HB 4879 and co-signed Hall’s letter requesting a committee hearing.

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