Michigan House Republicans
Rep. BeGole: Bad policy from Whitmer administration is only worsening border crisis
RELEASE|March 29, 2024
Contact: Brian BeGole

State Rep. Brian BeGole, of Antrim Township, today criticized a backwards approach from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration that wastes Michigan tax dollars, discards transparency and amplifies federal failures on the country’s southern border.

A plan from the Department of Labor and Economic Development will offer up to $500 per month in rent assistance to house “newcomers” in Michigan. It is unclear how many people are being supported by the new program, and the governor has shown little as far as transparency on the subsidies. BeGole said the program doesn’t use tax dollars responsibly and money could ultimately be going to people who have illegally entered the country.

“This is money that could be returned to taxpayers to help them with their grocery bills or their own housing costs,” BeGole said. “Instead, this money is footing the bill to fulfill a radical, national agenda. That’s wrong.

“Roughly how many people are going to utilize this assistance? What measures will be taken as far as vetting people and combatting fraud, given past instances where the state has fallen short on that end? These are valid questions that we need answers for, especially when tax dollars are going into this program now that it has been rolled out.”

The plan comes during a time of turmoil on the country’s southern border – which continues to impact states throughout the country.

In December, the U.S. Border Patrol recorded more than 250,000 encounters with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border – setting a new all-time high. The new record marked the 10th time encounters have surpassed 200,000 in a month since 2021. From October 2020 to January of this year, U.S. Border Patrol encountered over 300 individuals on the Terrorist Screening Dataset between ports of entry along the southern border – an increase of over 2,900%.

Just this week, an illegal immigrant was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a Grand Rapids woman. The individual had previously been arrested in 2020 and ordered by a judge to be deported from the U.S., but entered back into the country illegally after removal.

“Many times, these individuals have very little vetting. We have no way of knowing where their allegiances lie – whether it’s with drug cartels, terrorist groups or foreign adversaries, or if they have criminal pasts,” BeGole said. “It’s clear the federal government is failing to address this issue and pursue preventative measures – and the governor continues to place the burden of these failures and reckless policies on the backs of Michigan residents and hardworking taxpayers. People should not be expected to foot the bill for these extreme endeavors with their hard-earned money, and this will only worsen a federal problem that is not being handled appropriately.”

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