Green: Punishing Michigan employers and Vassar workers would make crisis worse

LANSING—Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, offered the following statement regarding the potential use of Vassar facilities for housing illegal immigrants and a recent proposal to punish such facilities by canceling state contracts:

“Our local community continues to be faced with a crisis of failed federal leadership on our borders and the complete lack of transparency from the Obama administration on housing operations.

“From day one, I have been engaged on this issue with the community, our Congressional delegation, the governor and my fellow legislators.

“Punishing Michigan employers, Vassar workers and their families will only make the crisis worse and accomplish one thing: opening up every single bed in Vassar and elsewhere for use by federal agencies.

“The substantial number of open beds at the Vassar facility exists because the Granholm administration reneged on the state’s commitment to utilize such community-based alternatives for juvenile offenders, in favor of state-controlled correctional institutions.

“These alternatives to the lock-and-key approach have proven to be a cost-effective use of taxpayer dollars and very successful in helping youths who have made mistakes. The open beds at the Vassar facility could be used to help Michigan juvenile offenders and to serve our state’s public safety interests.

“Renewing the state’s commitment to use programs like Pioneer Work and Learn would resolve this crisis for the Vassar community while also creating local jobs. That’s a real solution that I am committed to working on with my fellow legislators and the governor and one that they seem receptive to.”

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Green: $4.2 million in Priority Road Investment Program dollars will fix roads in the district

LANSING—State Sen. Mike Green announced that Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan Senate and the Michigan House of Representatives released their priority road funding list for allocation of funds across the state.

Senate District 31 received five projects totaling $4.25 million in funding.

“I’m happy to see our district allocated these funds to help repair what MDOT, the governor and I feel are vital roadways,” said Green, R-Mayville. “While this is simply a supplemental amount, it will benefit our district’s transportation needs immeasurably without tax increases and is an important step in fixing Michigan’s crumbling roadways.”

The projects include:

·         $800,000 for M-46 east of Goetz Road to Port Sanilac west village limits;

·         $1 million for M-90 from North Branch east village limits to M-53;

·         $650,000 for I-69 under Black Corners Road (S-14);

·         $1.3 million for M-13 (Euclid) from Salzburg Avenue to North Union Avenue; and

·         $500,000 for 600 different locations in and around Bay City.

Senate Bill 608 provides supplemental appropriations for various state government departments covering Fiscal Year 2015. The total gross amount allocated for the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Priority Road Investment Program is $114,942,610. It was noted that many of these projects would otherwise not be funded if not for the supplemental amount.

The approximately $115 million for road projects is part of more than $700 million extra general fund dollars allocated to Michigan roads this legislative term.

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Green: Concerns over housing of illegal immigrants should be addressed

LANSING—Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, offered the following statement regarding the ongoing federal review of local facilities for housing illegal immigrants under the age of 18.

“The United States of America is a nation built by immigrants who yearned for freedom and who worked hard to achieve the American dream. The American people support legal immigration that is managed effectively, strengthens our society and preserves the safety of our citizens.

“Folks in my district have legitimate concerns about the impact of housing illegal immigrant minors—many of whom are near adulthood—on the health, welfare, local schools and security of the Vassar community.

“One of the most significant concerns is that we do not know who these illegals are. We do not know their criminal or health histories, the groups or gangs they may be associated with, either home or abroad, the reasons for bringing them all the way to Michigan, and where they will ultimately end up. These questions need to be answered before any action is taken and the conversation must involve local residents.

“Wolverine Human Services was approached to provide services fitting within their overall mission during a national border crisis, and I cannot fault them for responding. Ultimately, the city of Vassar and Wolverine are not the problem here.

“Responsibility for the lack of border security, blatant refusal to enforce immigration laws, unconstitutional attempts to enact amnesty through executive orders, and confusion among foreign nationals over U.S. immigration policy rests squarely on the shoulders of President Obama and his administration. He has only compounded the problem by rewarding the nations of origin with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional aid, instead of demanding action that addresses the problem.

“I will remain engaged in the Vassar situation and work to ensure that our community’s interests are protected. However, we will continue to face this crisis in local communities across the nation until action is taken in our nation’s capital to secure our borders, restore the rule of law to our immigration system, enforce current immigration law, and hold our international counterparts accountable.

“That is ultimately the biggest issue here.”

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