Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Harris introduces plan to crack down on gang crime, protect Oakland County families
RELEASE|April 23, 2024
Contact: Mike Harris

State Rep. Mike Harris last week introduced a plan to crack down on criminals who are in the country illegally and targeting Oakland County homes on behalf of transnational crime organizations.

Harris, a retired Waterford police sergeant, noted that teams of criminals from Central and South America are taking advantage of the border crisis and weak federal immigration laws to enter the U.S. and break into homes throughout the country, especially in Oakland County.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard has warned about an international crime ring that has stolen millions of dollars’ worth jewelry, cash and other items from residents there.

“International criminals who exploited and violated our immigration laws have raided homes in Oakland County, damaging property and stealing valuables from local families,” said Harris, R-Waterford. “Law enforcement officers are diligently going after these thieves, and heavier penalties can better deter and punish these crime rings. Increasing penalties for crimes committed on behalf of transnational crime organizations will give prosecutors and judges tools to crack down on the criminals our police arrest.”

Harris co-sponsored a new plan, House Bill 5650, which will increase penalties for crimes committed to benefit transnational crime organizations, like those targeting Oakland County residents. It also increases penalties for felonies committed by individuals who return to the country illegally after being deported.

Under the bill, the maximum penalty for a first offense may be increased by up to 50% of the longest term prescribed by law for a conviction of that offense. For second and subsequent offenses, the maximum penalty may be up to twice the longest term prescribed by law.

Multiple illegal aliens have been arrested for violent crimes in Michigan in recent months, including murder, soliciting sex with a minor, and sexual assault.

“The federal government has failed to secure our border, and criminals are seizing the opportunity to enter our country,” Harris said. “Deported illegal immigrants who come back to commit felonies deserve more severe sentences for their crimes.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Whitmer has launched a program offering rent subsidies to “newcomers.” The sweeping program criteria offer taxpayer-funded assistance to a wide variety of immigrants, including individuals with a pending asylum application, and 97% of asylum seekers last fiscal year entered the country illegally and only claimed asylum as a defense to delay deportation after they got caught.

House Bill 5650 was introduced Thursday and will be referred to a committee this week.

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