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Rep. Lower has proposed legislation in Michigan that would punish schools not cooperating with ICE

October 17, 2019

Last month, State Representative Jim Lower introduced legislation in Lansing that would prohibit schools and school districts in Michigan from passing a resolution or adopting policy that would prevent an employee from, “communicating or cooperating with appropriate federal officials concerning the immigration status in this state.”

Rep. Lower introduced HB 4988 on September 17 of this year, just weeks after the Detroit Public Schools adopted a Sanctuary policy, affectively stating that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials were not allowed to enter school property. 

Lower’s proposed legislation is clearly a reaction to the Sanctuary policy that was adopted by the Detroit Public Schools, plus it sends a message to other school districts across the state, since the proposed legislation would levy civil fines (between $2,500 – $7,500) against any school district that did not cooperate with ICE agents or other Department of Homeland Security officials.

Lower, a Republican, who represents the 70th House District, is only in his second term of office for that district and has already made a name for himself as part of the Central Michigan Leadership PAC. Rep. Lower is a staunch supporter of the NRA, Michigan Right to Life and has received a 100% voting record with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Farm Bureau.

Lower has provided a substantial amount of money to his own election campaigns, along with other major campaign funders, such as: 

  • Michigan Realtors Association PAC $9,500
  • DeVos Family $9,000
  • DTE Energy PAC $8,500
  • Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association $8,000
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan $5,000
  • CMS Energy $5,000

In addition to voting for conservative legislation, such as the reactionary HB 4988, Lower announced earlier this year that he is running for the 3rd Congressional District, currently held by Justin Amash. According to Lower’s 3rd Congressional candidacy website, he is running to Stand with President Trump.  Check out this video from Lower, which clearly demonstrates his allegiance to far right policies.

HB 4988 is currently in the Education Committee, which is chaired by Pamela Hornberger (R),  with no clear timeline when it might be voted on in the House.

In the meantime, there are other communities looking to adopt Sanctuary School policies in the state. In fact, GR Rapid Response to ICE, working with Movimiento Cosecha GR, is providing a Sanctuary School Toolkit to Parents, Students and Stakeholders in Local School Districts. If you would like to obtain a copy of the Toolkit, contact GR Rapid Response to ICE on their Facebook page

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