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Michigan lawmakers look to address immigration issues at state level

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

State officials are weighing in on the immigration debate. Democrats in the state House Tuesday introduced a package of bills to change the way the Michigan treats immigrants.

Under the legislation, the state would offer in-state college tuition to some undocumented students. It would also create an office to coordinate resources and services for people hoping to become U-S citizens.

Representative Jeff Irwin says the legislation includes language he thinks Republican leaders in Lansing could support.

“There’s a lot of agreement on this issue, and whether or not we can harness that agreement, capture it, and turn it into a positive change in public policy, that’s remains to be seen.”

Governor Rick Snyder has also called for making Michigan more welcoming to immigrants. He’s urging Congress to lift caps on professional visas. He says immigrants are often job creators, and could play a key role in Michigan’s economic recovery.

Representative Rashida Tlaib says the state should remove as many barriers as possible to attract immigrants.

“As we all are struggling in our country, on the federal level, to fix our broken immigration system, now’s the time for Michigan to create a more welcoming, again, environment for aspiring citizens.”

A House panel also approved a bi-partisan bill aimed at protecting people who are defrauded while filing immigration paperwork.

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