Michigan House Republicans
Leader Hall repeats call to ban sanctuary cities after illegal immigrant murders woman in Grand Rapids
RELEASE|March 27, 2024
Contact: Matt Hall

After an illegal immigrant murdered a 25-year-old woman in Grand Rapids last week, House Republican Leader Matt Hall on Wednesday called for action to crack down on illegal immigration and ban sanctuary cities.

“Joe Biden’s failure to secure the border has allowed multitudes of illegals — including dangerous criminals — to break into our country,” said Hall, R-Richland Township. “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.”

In a letter to Chair Tullio Liberati, 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 the committee has not yet held a hearing despite the ongoing illegal immigration crisis.

“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.”

The illegal immigrant who confessed this week to the murder of Ruby Garcia in Grand Rapids had reentered the United States illegally after the Trump administration deported him in 2020. Prior to his deportation, he had been arrested multiple times in Kent County. He was convicted of illegal entry into a residence, and he had an outstanding bench warrant in Grand Rapids for a 2020 case of suspected drunk driving and driving without a valid license.

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 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. 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, the lead sponsor of HB 4879, co-signed Hall’s letter requesting a committee hearing.

A recent Gallup poll found that 28% of Americans, a plurality, view immigration as the most important problem facing the country, and 55% agree that large numbers of immigrants entering the country illegally is a critical threat to our nation’s vital interests.

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