Media Contact

Dana Chicklas, (734) 945-8857, dchicklas@aclumich.org

October 1, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) and Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) commend Governor Gretchen Whitmer for vetoing a proposed state budget line item that is unlawful, unenforceable, and jeopardizes public safety by punishing counties that do not communicate or cooperate with federal immigration enforcement beyond what is currently required by law.  Specifically, House Bill 4231, Section 414(7), which is extremely vague, conditions jail reimbursement through the Michigan Department of Corrections budget by forcing local officials to make choices that do not best protect the communities they serve. The vagueness of the bill also could result in local officials detaining immigrants for federal authorities without judicial warrants, which is unlawful, exposes local municipalities to financial liability, and undermines the proven benefits of current local policies that protect immigrants and support public safety.

ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Dave Noble and Michigan Immigrant Rights Center Managing Attorney Susan Reed have the following reactions:

“We commend the Governor for upholding our shared values of creating welcoming and safe communities for everyone,” said Dave Noble, ACLU of Michigan executive director. “The proposed bill, if enacted, would have eroded the trust between police and immigrant communities. It would have caused those in need of police assistance to hesitate about seeking that help out of fear that they or loved ones could be detained or deported.”

“Passing laws like HB 4231 disrupt the relationship between police and the communities they serve, and would make Michigan residents less safe,” said Susan Reed, MIRC managing attorney. “The state must protect and ensure public safety for all, not provide incentives to racially profile and separate immigrant families.”

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