Michigan Republicans Criticize State-funded Housing Aid for Asylum Seekers

Michigan Republicans Criticize State-funded Housing Aid for Asylum Seekers

Michigan Republican senators are voicing concerns about key parts of the state’s “newcomer rental subsidy” program, which provides up to $500 to landlords who rent to migrants.

According to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration, the program is intended to assist recently arrived migrants in finding inexpensive homes and integrating more effectively. Her administration quietly launched the program in October without input from the state legislature. It provides “refugees and other newcomer population-eligible households with rental assistance up to $500 per month for up to 12 months, with eligibility based on immigration status and household income.”

To be eligible, migrants must be refugees, asylees, holders of special immigrant visas, victims of human trafficking, Cuban and Haitian entrants, Afghan nationals, or Ukrainian humanitarian parolees. Migrants with pending asylum claims are also eligible.

This means that migrants who unlawfully crossed the border and sought asylum to prevent deportation could profit from the stipend.

If a migrant is unable to show proof of income, such as a paycheck or bank statement, the applicant must give a written explanation for the lack of evidence. They have the option of making a “cash payment.”

Michigan House Republican Leader Matt Hall has led a campaign to raise awareness of the subsidy program, particularly in light of a woman’s death last month, allegedly committed by an illegal immigrant in Michigan.

“These are the kinds of policies that attract illegals to our state,” Hall told Fox News Digital in an interview. “And you see some of them bringing drugs and some of them committing serious crimes … they’re going to go to places where they’re going to get state benefits, where they’re not going to be asked about their immigration status, where they’re not going to be held in jail or deported.”

It is unclear how many migrants who crossed the border illegally and then sought asylum to avoid deportation benefited from this scheme. Hall and Michigan Rep. Joe Aragona, R-Clinton Township, the Republican vice chair of the Housing Subcommittee, wrote to the governor’s office last week, requesting a “detailed breakdown of the recipients,” with a focus on those who filed asylum claims only after being discovered to be in the United States illegally.

“Resources are finite and must be allocated judiciously to ensure the program is available to the refugees and others for whom it is intended, and it is crucial that the program aligns with its intended goals and prioritizes those who have gone through the process correctly and are not facing imminent removal from the United States,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

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