News Story

Michigan House Dems Propose State Contract Preference for Immigrants

Bill is part of Democrats’ anti-immigration enforcement package

Democratic State Rep. Jim Ellison.

Democratic lawmakers in the Michigan House have introduced a bill that would require state contract managers to pursue a goal of awarding at least 5 percent of the spending on state contracts to businesses owned by immigrants.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jim Ellison, D-Royal Oak, and co-sponsored by 18 other House Democrats. It would amend a 1980 law that sets a 7 percent contract target for businesses owned by minorities, and 5 percent for firms owned by women.

Ellison, the ACLU and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center didn’t return emails seeking comment.

To qualify for the special treatment, a person must complete a sworn affidavit affirming that the bidder is an immigrant-owned business and is prepared to bid on state contracts. If the preference targets are not met, the law requires the governor to propose ways to meet them.

The bill is part of a legislative package involving immigration that was introduced by House Democrats on June 8. Here is how Michigan Votes described some of the other bills in the same package:

House Bill 4727 - Michigan Votes: Introduced by Rep. David LaGrand (D)
To prohibit police agencies in Michigan from detaining an individual not charged with a crime on the basis of a 48-hour federal “immigration hold” request, unless there has been a judicial determination that probable cause exists to believe that the individual committed a crime in this state.

House Bill 4725 - Michigan Votes: Introduced by Rep. Jeremy Moss (D)
To prohibit state agency databases from including information that identifies an individual's country of origin, religious preference or sexual orientation.

House Bill 4723 - Michigan Votes: Introduced by Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D)
To charge in-state tuition at state universities and colleges to most resident aliens, including those who entered the country illegally as a child and have been granted a deferral from prosecution.

House Bill 4733 - Michigan Votes: Introduced by Rep. Stephanie Chang (D)
To prohibit granting state contracts to companies or individuals who have contracts to build a U.S. border wall. State officials would have to publish and maintain an updated list based on “credible evidence” of persons who have wall-building contracts.

House Bill 4730 - Michigan Votes: Introduced by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D)
To prohibit the state or local government from checking the immigration status of new employees on the federal “e-verify” system, or require a contractor to do so. A government contractor that did use the system would be subject to a fine and barred from other contracts for a year.