Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Steele fed up with international crime syndicates threatening Michigan
RELEASE|April 18, 2024
Contact: Donni Steele

State Rep. Donni Steele pledged her support for a House Republican plan to target criminals illegally entering the country on behalf of transnational criminal organizations.

Officials in southeast Michigan say teams of criminals from Central and South America are taking advantage of the border crisis and weak federal immigration laws to enter the U.S. and break into homes in wealthy neighborhoods throughout the country.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard has warned about an international crime ring targeting high-end homes that has stolen millions of dollars’ worth of jewelry, cash, and other items from residents there.

“I won’t sit by and wait for the feds to do their jobs when kids in my community are getting off the school bus to find their homes ransacked by international criminals,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “These are desperate people who are willing to cross any line. People shouldn’t have to be afraid inside their own homes. We need to do whatever we can to end this madness before someone gets killed.”

House Bill 5650 will increase penalties for crimes committed to benefit transnational crime organizations, like those targeting communities in Oakland County. It also increases penalties for felonies committed by individuals who return to the country illegally after being deported.

Multiple illegal immigrants have been arrested for violent crimes in Michigan in recent months, including murder, soliciting sex with a minor, and sexual assault.

Meanwhile, the Whitmer administration has been pushing policies and proposals to offer taxpayer-funded assistance to people who entered the country illegally. Her “Newcomer Rental Subsidy” program offers rent assistance to illegal immigrants who got arrested and then claimed asylum to avoid deportation.

Whitmer also proposed $8 million in her budget for “New Michigander Immigration and Legal Services,” which would subsidize legal services for asylum seekers, even though more than 97% of asylum seekers in fiscal year 2023 claimed asylum defensively after they were facing deportation and most asylum claims get denied.

“Gov. Whitmer is proposing we throw taxpayer money at cartel soldiers who are here to rob and terrorize our friends and neighbors,” Steele said. “No budget should prioritize people who came here illegally over the health and wellbeing of our taxpayers. That money should be fixing roads or supporting law enforcement.”

House Bill 5650 was enrolled with the House today and will be referred to a committee next week.


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