LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Although some are calling attention to domestic violence in the murder of 25-year-old Ruby Garcia, others are pointing fingers at illegal immigration as the cause of the violent end to Garcia’s life.

Brandon Ortiz-Vite, a 25-year-old individual who is in the country without legal authorization, faces charges in the murder case involving Garcia and is reported to hold Mexican citizenship. He reentered the country following deportation during the Trump administration.

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Prior to Garcia’s murder, Ortiz-Vite had a history of offenses in Kent County, which includes convictions for illegal entry into a residence. Additionally, there was an outstanding bench warrant against him in Grand Rapids related to a suspected drunk driving incident and driving without a valid license dating back to 2020.

Michigan legislators calling for ban on sanctuary cities and counties.

In light of what happened to Garcia, House Republican Leader Matt Hall (R-Richland Township) on Wednesday called for action to crack down on illegal immigration and ban sanctuary cities.

Hall said in a statement, “Joe Biden’s failure to secure the border has allowed multitudes of illegals – including dangerous criminals – to break into our country.”

Hall went on to say, “This illegal immigration crisis has bred deadly consequences right here in Michigan. A secure border would have kept Ruby Garcia’s murderer out of our state and nation, but Democrats have refused to fully enforce our immigration laws and national security.”

Letter sent to Chair of House Government Operations Committee.

In a letter to Chair Tullio Liberati (D-Allen Park), Hall urged the House Government Operations Committee to hold a hearing on his plan to ban sanctuary cities and counties. The legislation would prohibit counties and municipalities from adopting policies that prevent local employees from communicating or cooperating with federal immigration officials.

Hall and House Republicans introduced the bills nine months ago in June of 2023, but Hall says the committee has not yet held a hearing despite the ongoing illegal immigration crisis.

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“Rogue politicians in Michigan communities put public safety at even greater risk when they refuse to work with federal officers trying to apprehend illegals,” Hall said. “These sanctuary cities and counties invite proven criminals, like Ruby’s killer, to come where they can hide from deportation even if they’re arrested for another crime. Disastrous sanctuary policies impede the work of federal immigration officials and exacerbate the public safety crisis. We must ban sanctuary cities to protect Michigan residents.”

5.5 million Michiganders live in areas with “sanctuary” or “welcoming” policies.

Hall says that more than 20 Michigan communities with a total of more than 5.5 million residents have designated themselves as “sanctuary” or “welcoming” communities.

Grand Rapids, where Garcia was killed, is an official welcoming city, meaning that it has policies separating local law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement agencies, and Kent County is a sanctuary county.

Legislation to protect Michigan residents in limbo.

Hall sponsored House Bill 4880 to ban sanctuary policies for counties, and he co-sponsored HB 4879 to do the same for cities, villages, and townships. Rep. Cam Cavitt (R-Cheboygan), the lead sponsor of HB 4879, co-signed Hall’s letter requesting a committee hearing.

Rep. Cavitt said in a statement, “How many more tragedies must our communities suffer before so- called sanctuary cities realize the error of the ways and the dangerous lawlessness their misguided decisions create?”

Rep. Cavitt continued to say, “People are not safer when municipalities choose to violate federal law. When cities embrace these policies, they are basically putting up giant billboards telling human traffickers exactly where to bring the dangerous criminals they smuggle across the border. We cannot continue to allow Michigan communities to be active partners in the exploitation of vulnerable people; it doesn’t help immigrants and puts our residents at increased and unnecessary risk.”

State Senator Aric Nesbitt has also weighed in about the situation on X saying, “Banning sanctuary cities and counties in Michigan must be a top priority. Any further inaction will come with tragic consequences.”