LANSING — At a press conference yesterday, state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) and several house democratic colleagues introduced the MI Civil Rights Expansion bill package. This comprehensive, first of its kind package will extended needed civil protections to all residents, regardless of birthplace. They were joined by Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton, ACLU Michigan, Michigan United, the Washtenaw Immigrant Justice Coalition, the National Association of Social Workers, Emgage and Michigan residents who support the package of bills.
The legislation seeks to ensure that Michigan adopts welcoming policies that promote public safety, economic vitality and population growth. Additionally, this package empowers local governments to do what is best for their communities. Here is a summary:
- House Resolution 18 (Rep. Hammoud): Already introduced resolution to memorialize the Congress of the United States to pursue humane and responsible immigration policies and oppose discriminatory policies and practices in immigration enforcement.
- HR 118 (Rep. Love): A resolution that encourages all of Michigan's public universities to enact welcoming policies and procedures.
- House Bill 4720 (Rep. Hammoud): Would turn Michigan into a welcoming state. Prohibits the use of state and local law enforcement resources for the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
- HB 4721 (Rep. Wittenberg): Would prohibit law enforcement officers and employees of health facilities from asking and collecting private information that could be used to create a registry for immigration or citizenship status.
- HB 4722 (Rep. Zemke): 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 4723 (Rep. Rabhi): Would allow certain resident immigrants to have the ability to pay in-state tuition at in-state public universities.
- HB 4724 (Rep. Peterson): Prohibits discriminatory stop-and-search policies without reasonable suspicion.
- HB 4725 (Rep. Moss): Prohibits the creation or management of any public database using the country of origin, religion, or sexual orientation of any individual.
- HB 4726 (Rep. Green): Requires the Michigan Department of Education to develop curriculum regarding civil rights and the Bill of Rights.
- HB 4727 (Rep. LaGrand): Prohibits cruel and costly immigration hold requests in local jails.
- HB 4728 (Rep. Geiss): Creates the “Nonprofit Legal Organization Contract Act” to provide legal assistance for deportation proceeding.
- HB 4729 (Rep. Jones): Requires any organization or individual that accepts any funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to report when and how much was accepted to the state. The state must then publicly post this information.
- HB 4730 (Rep. Hammoud): Prohibits public employers from entering into contracts with subcontractors that require participation in the E-verify program.
- HB 4731 (Rep. Ellison): Adds immigrant-owned businesses to a list of groups provided designation of goods, services, and construction.
- HB 4732 (Rep. Santana): Creates a partial reimbursement program on relocation costs for municipalities that resettle refugees.
- HB 4733 (Rep. Chang): Prevents Michigan from contracting with any company involved with building a border wall.
Rep. Hammoud made the following statement regarding the legislation:
“The MI Civil Rights Expansion would set the foundation for Michigan to be a Welcoming State. A state that promotes public safety by ensuring our local police offers maintain trust and good relations with the communities they protect. A Michigan that fosters economic growth by providing an equal opportunity for all individuals to pursue the American dream. A state that seeks to attract individuals from other states, near and far, as well as individuals from other nations, near and far.
“Over the last several years, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of hate crimes against immigrant communities and communities of color. We cannot stand idly by as many residents of our state go about their lives in a state of fear. Fear of being racially profiled and discriminated against. Fear of being separated from their loved ones. Fear of never having an equal opportunity to thrive or succeed.
“This package of bills will provide needed protections for residents of our state and will attract individuals that wish to call Michigan home. Our state cannot be the best version of herself without the help of immigrants, who have enriched our sate and our nation in countless ways.”