Remember a year ago when Rep. Kim Meltzer sponsored SB 1070? SB 1070 was a law aimed at undocumented immigrants and heavily drawn from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s immigration law. Remember how you wrote Rep. Kim Meltzer emails and called and she eventually dropped the entire endeavor? Well, Rep. Dave Agema has picked up the mantle and introduced HB 4305, an Arizona-style law aimed at making the lives of immigrants everywhere miserable.
Whenever I see a far-right acolyte attempting to make the lives of immigrants even more difficult I can’t help but think of this Family Guy clip:
Ah, Michigan. While Michiganders struggle to find work, Rep. Dave Agema thinks it’s the right time to create an unfunded, unconstitutional, and ambiguous mandate that is just begging to be abused. For example, HB 4305 states, “A law enforcement officer, with or without a warrant, may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed a public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.” The significance of this is startling as it allows police officers to stop people solely because of suspected immigration status and not just during the investigation of some other violation.
Essentially, police officers would be able to stop, question, and arrest people based solely on their suspicion that person might be “deportable.” If you’re the person being stopped, you are assumed to be an illegal alien unless you provide (1) a valid Michigan operator’s or chauffeur’s license, (2) a valid Michigan state personal ID card, (3) or any identification document from any issuing agency that requires proof of legal presence in the United States before issuance.
Aside from the obvious legal ramifications of HB 4305, the economic implications spelled out in this recent Michigan League for Human Services report are even more troubling:
- Nationally, almost half of all unauthorized immigrants entered the states legally.
- In Michigan, immigrants were responsible for 32.8 percent of all high-tech startups, between 1995 and 2006, making Michigan third among all states in producing new high-tech business opportunities.
- The immigrant business startup rate is 1.89 times that of nonimmigrants, making immigrants twice as likely to start a business.
- Michigan stands to lose over $3.8 billion in economic activity. $1.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 20,339 jobs, with the removal of all unauthorized workers from the labor force.
If Rep. Dave Agema succeeds you won’t be innocent until proven guilty, rather guilty until proven innocent. Want to help re-invent Michigan? Take action and tell Gov. Rick Snyder HB 4305 is unacceptable.