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Group opposes bill to cut funds that support undocumented immigrants


The Arab-American Civil Rights League is speaking out against legislation that would ban local governments in Michigan from using revenues to "specifically support or otherwise assist" undocumented immigrants.

Under HB 5053, residents of municipalities that don't comply within 60 days would be able to sue or file a complaint about their local government with the state attorney general.

The ACRL says the bill "clearly seeks to quash any pro-immigrant local efforts" and could impact services that are available regardless of immigration status such as municipal ID programs, courts and police services

ACRL Chairman Nasser Beydoun says it could also lead to local governments racially profiling community members in order to avoid penalties.  

"The majority of people are good people, but then there's this fringe part of society that hates everybody who's not the same color as them or the same religion as them. [The bill] gives them power to go after these undocumented immigrants," Beydoun says. 

State Representative Jeff Noble, R-Plymouth, is the bill's sponsor. He says it's meant to protect taxpayers and only targets those who are in the country illegally.  

"This has nothing to do with folks that are here [legally] and have gone through the process or are here for whatever reason. We're simply dealing with folks that have come here illegally, trying to utilize taxpayer dollars," Noble says.

Noble introduced the legislation in the State House earlier this month.

Rebecca Kruth is the host of Weekend Edition at Michigan Radio. She also co-hosts Michigan Radio’s weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
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