Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer seeks $8 MILLION in state funds for illegal immigrants' legal fees

The proposal states that "growing the state’s population is a key factor in boosting the economy and building shared prosperity across the state."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has proposed spending $8 million to fund legal services for illegal immigrants seeking asylum in the US.

The funding for the upcoming fiscal year would be used to help pay for attorneys to represent illegal immigrants in immigration proceedings.

The proposed budget states that asylum seekers could help boost Michigan’s population, thus boosting the economy.

The Executive Budget Recommendation, released in February for fiscal year 2025, includes $8 million for "New Michigander Immigration and Legal Services."

This would "expand and improve immigrant integration efforts in Michigan through grants for wraparound supports that will facilitate the success of newcomers. Services may include case management, transportation, legal services, language access supports, digital literacy, and learning."

The proposal states that "growing the state’s population is a key factor in boosting the economy and building shared prosperity across the state," and that the funds were part of the "Governor’s population growth goals."

Chief executive officer at Freedom House in Detroit Elizabeth Orozco-Vasquez told Capital News Service, "You’re twice as likely to get asylum if you have some type of representation."

As of December 2023, 32 percent of all immigration cases in the state had legal representation.

This comes as Whitmer’s administration has offered $500 per month for up to 12 months in a "newcomer rental subsidy" to landlords to house illegal immigrants in the state.

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