Michigan Rep. wants to cut funding for undocumented children - WNEM TV 5

Michigan Rep. wants to cut funding for undocumented children

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The debate over illegal immigration is taking center stage in Mid-Michigan again, with word that undocumented children from Central America could seek temporary shelter at a facility in Vassar.

Now a state lawmaker is fighting back and promising action against groups that would house illegal immigrants.

"If a facility is accepting illegal immigrants and accepting state funds, they won't be allowed to have state funds," State Rep. Kevin Daley said.

Thursday he announced his plan to sponsor legislation that cuts state funding to organizations housing undocumented families. 

"It's a real concern that I have at a state level and a national level," Daley said.

The issue stems from a plan to bring dozens of undocumented children to Mid-Michigan. Wolverine Human Services has applied for permission to house the Central American children.  

Daley's proposal hasn't even made it to the house floor yet, but some residents say no way. 

"The idea of trying to make life worse for people just to score political points just disgusts me," said Victor Galea, Flint resident and first generation American.  

Galea is the son of Italian immigrants. He said he's outraged by a proposal he said is too harsh on innocent kids.

"He has no concern for the welfare of children, but just to try to garner votes from people who have a knee jerk fear of immigrants," Galea said.

Daley said they want to help the children, but they need to protect American citizens first.

Patrick McNeal works at My Brother's Keeper in Flint. He said the Michigan legislature should not decide the outcome of a federal debate on immigration. 

"It's a federal issue. Why cut off funding to organizations who are otherwise doing a great job in the community," McNeal said.

Meanwhile, Daley defends his proposal saying the state legislature should flex its muscles. 

"It's nothing against those business owners or that facility. And it's certainly nothing against those kids," Daley said.

Daley created an online petition for residents to tell President Obama and Michigan's U.S. senators to take steps to prevent undocumented workers from coming into Michigan.

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