House Democrats Broaden MI Civil Rights Expansion Bill Package

Legislators address student inequity in second component of MI Civil Rights Expansion Package
Friday, June 21, 2019

LANSING — As the second component of a sweeping effort to extend critical civil rights protections to all Michigan residents, House Democratic representatives have introduced a package of bills focused on inequity in education. The MI Civil Rights Expansion package, spearheaded by state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) is a four-part legislative agenda honoring Immigrant Heritage Month, a nationwide effort to gather and share the inspirational stories of immigrants in America.

“Education is the foundation of any successful community, and we must ensure that it is inclusive, safe, and welcoming for all students, including immigrants,” said Hammoud. “It is critical that the classroom is a place where students are welcome to learn with their peers without fear of discrimination or threat of deportation.”

The education package includes:

  • House Resolution, Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit): A resolution that encourages all of Michigan's public universities to enact welcoming policies and procedures.
  • HB 4797, Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township): Prevents schools from discriminating against or denying admission of pupils due to immigration status, asking pupils or parents for immigration status, or requiring disclosure of immigration status.
  • HB 4798, Rep.  Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor): Allows for certain resident immigrants to have the ability to pay in-state tuition at in-state public universities.
  • HB 4799, Rep. Sheryl Kennedy (D-Davison): Requires the Michigan Department of Education to develop curriculum regarding civil rights and the Bill of Rights.

“This civil rights package ensures that Michigan schools are accessible and welcoming to all,” said Camilleri. “By building trust between teachers, administrators, and families, students can earn an education safely and without fear.”

“This package recognizes the vast contributions of resident immigrants who live, work, and raise families in our communities,” said Rabhi. “My bill puts them on equal footing with other Michigan residents by allowing them to pay the same rate to attend our exceptional in-state public universities.”

“Our civil rights are absolutely critical to the foundation of this country,” said Kennedy. “By educating Michigan’s youth on their civil rights we can better prepare them to handle interactions with government and defend their constitutional rights.”

“University campuses are known for their diversity and inclusiveness,” said Love. “My resolution promotes these positive attitudes at all university campuses by encouraging our universities to put in place enhanced policies to create an environment of inclusive excellence in learning, student development, community engagement and workforce readiness.”

This first MI Civil Rights Expansion bill package was introduced on June 13th, and additional civil rights roll-outs related to data collection, transparency, and refugee resettlement are planned throughout the rest of the month.