LANSING — State Reps. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) and Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw) spoke out today against President Trump’s signing of two executive orders which both call for construction to begin on a wall between the United States and Mexico, as well as to remove federal funding from sanctuary cities, and broadening the scope of priorities for deportation.

“Law enforcement experts across the country have pointed out that sanctuary city policies can actually deter crime, as such policies make it more likely that undocumented immigrants will report crime and cooperate with law enforcement,” said Rep. Chang. “Building that trust is critical to helping our country move forward. In addition, I am very concerned that opening up the priorities for deportation may to have a devastating impact on residents of Southwest Detroit in my district. Instead of Trump’s anti-immigrant proposals which will prove both costly and ineffective, we need real comprehensive immigration reform. Issuing a blanket edict that does not take into account the many facets to this issue does a disservice to our country, and is at its core un-American.”

The orders signed by President Trump state that construction should begin as soon as possible on a wall along the US-Mexico border, as well calling for a boost in border patrol forces and an increase in the number of immigration enforcement officers who would carry out deportations. They also seek to end sanctuary cities, or cities that follow certain procedures that shelter illegal immigrants, by stripping federal grant funding to those cities.

“The strength of our nation is its rich history of diversity,” said Rep. Guerra. “Erecting a literal barrier to prevent immigration not only stifles the opportunity for that diversity to enrich our nation, but misappropriates taxpayer dollars for an ineffective and unnecessary infrastructure project. Allocating money in this way directly detracts from other critical projects and prevents them from moving forward, including things like the much needed repairs to water service lines in Flint.

“Legislation should address the cause of a problem, not its symptoms,” said Rep. Hammoud. “Unfortunately, these orders in no way resemble good policy. Misallocating federal tax dollars for ill-conceived infrastructure projects or threatening to withhold funding from cities offering a public service you disagree with, does not properly address America’s immigration concerns. Our focus should instead be on humane and responsible comprehensive immigration reform and investing in our crumbling infrastructure. I welcome the President to my district to see firsthand the positive impacts immigration has had on the city of Dearborn.”