Lansing, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – “The most pressing issue across our country right now” is illegal immigration according to ranking leaders in the Michigan legislature who just visited the Texas border last week.

Senate Leader Aric Nesbitt (R-Porter Township) and House Minority Leader Matt Hall (R-Richland Township) hosted a panel Thursday morning to share about their experience at the Southern border in Texas, and demand that Michigan aid in the effort to resist illegal immigration.

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Because of lack of enforcement from the federal government, this has become more of a state issue according to Hall.

“When the federal government refuses to enforce our immigration laws and defend our border, then it becomes a state issue,” Hall said.

The annual cost of security to the state of Texas.

According to Leader Hall, Texas devotes a significant portion of its state budget to border security.

“They spend $2 billion a year out of their state budget for border security, and what you’re seeing is a number of other states stepping up and aiding their efforts,” he said.

According to Hall, at least 11 states were represented in Texas when the Michigan leaders visited including: Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and South Dakota.

Those are “all states that have national or state guard units, or both, down there helping Texas,” according to Hall.

Immigration spike from Mexico, and other Countries during the Biden Administration.

Sen. Nesbitt criticized the Biden administration for its approach to border security, which has led to effectively “an open border policy.”

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“We’ve had 3.9 million illegal alien apprehensions over the past three years,” Sen. Nesbitt said. “That’s just the ones that have been caught.”

He shared statistics from the Texas Department of Public Safety, which hosted the two during their time there, documenting illegal immigration from all around the world.

“Nearly 10,000 from China, a quarter million from El Salvador, half a million from Venezuela,” have entered the U.S. according to Sen. Nesbitt.

Tangible impacts on other states, Michigan’s continuing battle with drugs.

Leader Nesbitt shared that after discussions with local sheriffs, the impact of the drugs brought across the border on Michigan.

“In Van Buren county, a small county,” he said, “we’re dealing with up to two deaths a week in overdoses.”

In the fentanyl that comes across the border, there is no consistency according to Nesbitt.

“Some are lethal, heavy overdoses, some have zero amount of fentanyl in them because there is no consistency on it and people are dying because of this,” he said.

In February, State Rep. Alicia St. Germaine (R-Harrison Township) sent a letter to Governor Whitmer reminding her of the “humanitarian crisis” in Michigan as the fentanyl overdoses continue to climb in the U.S.

“As legislators, we have witnessed the terrible impacts of fentanyl throughout our districts,” the letter said. “Numerous constituents have lost loved ones from narcotics laced with fentanyl. Drug rehabilitation programs and various community-based narcotics recovery programs, such as Families Against Narcotics, are overwhelmed by the surging number of overdoses and addictions. Local first responders struggle to keep up with increased fentanyl-linked crimes and deaths.”

House Minority Floor Leader Prepares Letter to the Governor Urging Michigan to Send Aid.

Representative Bryan Posthumus (R-Cannon Township) is requesting that roughly 3,000 Michigan troops be sent to the border.
“We have the resources here. We have the troops that can, that are specifically set up to help in national emergencies, such as this, that are specifically organized for the purpose of assisting in crowd control, assisting in logistics, assisting in materials and supplies,” Rep. Posthumus told FOX 17 Wednesday. “We are part of a country. And when a country needs us, we are called to serve our country. Our National Guard takes an oath to defend the country, not Michigan.”

He plans to send her a formal letter Thursday according to FOX 17.

Policy Priorities for Republican Leaders Moving Forward.

Sen. Nesbitt shared some particular priorities for the Republicans on this issue, including putting money in the next budget to send National Guard units down to Texas.

Recently, House Republicans have also drawn attention to the “Newcomer Rental Subsidy program,” introduced by the Whitmer Administration, which provides up to $500 per month to eligible individuals, including refugees, asylum seekers, and “newcomer” populations coming to the state for a maximum of 12 months.

“We need to stop funding programs such as housing subsidies and legal subsidies for illegal aliens,” Sen. Nesbitt said.

While Michigan is not a “sanctuary state,” it does have several municipalities that are. These include: Lansing, which is the only city in Michigan that has this designation. Though Ingham County, Kalamazoo County, Kent County, and Wayne County are officially sanctuary counties.

Nesbitt also called upon the legislature to enact legislation that would ban sanctuary jurisdictions in the state.