Skip to content

MLive reporting on federal Anti-Sanctuary Legislation & West MI Congressmen

July 5, 2017

On Saturday, MLive ran a story headlined, West Michigan congressmen on opposite sides of immigration bills. 

The article talks about two recent pieces of federal legislation, The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act — House Resolution 3003 and  House Resolution 3004, referred to as Kate’s Law, which increases the penalties for people reentering the US without documentation.

However, the MLive story begins the article and frames the issue not so much about immigration policy, but about the difference between how Congressman Huizenga voted on the matter and Congressman Amash, based on some recent votes

It is clear that Congressman Huizenga supports the Trump administration’s position on immigration policy, a policy that is punitive and does not address the root causes for people entering the US without documentation.

Congressman Amash has voted against these pieces of legislation, he argues, because he “believes in defending the Constitution.” There maybe some truth to this, but this does not provide adequate support for how he votes.

Congressman Amash identifies with the libertarian-wing of the GOP, which has the support of lots of Tea Party people. The libertarian wing believes in small government and a government that stays out of the lives of citizens. However, it would be a mistake for people to think that Rep. Amash is committed to the dignity, respect and permanent protection of immigrants. This is hardly the case. He has not introduced legislation to support these goals and is in no way working with community-based groups to make sure that all immigrant lives are valued.

In addition, we have to come to terms with the fact that, Congressman Amash is in a safe district, which means he can vote against his own party, because this district has been controlled by Republicans for decades. Former Congressman Vern Ehlers was able to fool “progressives” into thinking he was committed to environmental issues and alternative energy. West Michigan leadership of the Sierra Club would often vote for him when Ehlers was a member of Congress after replacing the late Paul Henry.

Therefore, the MLive article and headline is misleading and naive, since the reporter believes that Rep. Amash and Rep. Huizenga are on opposing sides of the immigration debate. The reality is that Rep. Amash does not support Sanctuary Cities, does support the increased militarization of the US borders, will not actively oppose the increase in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, nor the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants.

Finally, MLive fails to even consider talking to the number of organizations working on immigration rights and immigration justice that are based in West Michigan. There are several long-standing immigration lawyers, social service agencies, grassroots groups and of course there are thousands of immigrants that could have been sourced in this story, which would have significantly changed the way MLive readers would have been impacted.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: