Immigration May Become Hot Topic in Michigan

Mar 21, 2011, 12:03 by David Hope

Immigration has been a hot topic for Arizona lawmakers since the introduction of SB1070. This week, we learn that a legislator wants Michigan to follow Arizona's lead in targeting illegal immigrants, saying they take jobs from Americans.

State Rep. David Agema's package of bills includes an Arizona-like measure that lets police check the status of people they suspect are undocumented, The Detroit News reports.

The other bills attack Detroit and Ann Arbor's status as "sanctuary cities," where police do not question immigration status and require state agencies and temporary employment services to verify the documentation of applicants.

Agema says illegal immigrants are taking jobs from residents and costing the state in public services.

His proposals have led to protests by immigrant rights groups and farmers who rely on migrant workers.

The Pew Hispanic Center reports that Michigan has one of the lowest percentages of undocumented residents in the country, about 1.5 percent of the population.

Bill Ballenger, editor of Inside Michigan Politics, told the News he doubts the immigration bills will advance soon because Gov. Rick Snyder wants to focus on the budget.

Source: UPI