Michigan GOP lawmakers are raising the alarm over certain provisions in the state’s “newcomer rental subsidy” program that gives up to $500 to landlords who rent to migrants. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has argued that the program is intended to help newly-arrived migrants find affordable housing and better integrate. The program, which her administration quietly launched back in October without input from the state legislature, provides “refugees and other newcomer population-eligible households with rental assistance up to $500 per month for up to 12 months, with eligibility based on immigration status and household income.” 

To be eligible, migrants must be refugees, asylees, special immigration visa holders, victims of human trafficking, Cuban and Haitian entrants, Afghan nationals or Ukrainian humanitarian parolees. Migrants who have an asylum claim that is merely pending are also eligible. 

This means that migrants who illegally crossed the border and claimed asylum to avoid deportation could potentially benefit from the subsidy. 


If a migrant cannot provide verification of their income – such as a paycheck or bank statement – the applicant must submit a written explanation of why there is no documentation. One of the options available to them is a “cash payment.” 

Michigan House Republican Leader Matt Hall has been leading a charge to bring more awareness to the subsidy program, particularly in light of a woman’s murder last month, allegedly by an illegal immigrant in Michigan.

Gretchen Whitmer speaks

“These are the kinds of policies that attract illegals to our state,” Hall told Fox News Digital in an interview. “And you see some of them bringing drugs and some of them committing serious crimes … they’re going to go to places where they’re going to get state benefits, where they’re not going to be asked about their immigration status, where they’re not going to be held in jail or deported.” 

It remains unclear how many migrants who crossed the border illegally and then claimed asylum as a defense against deportation have received benefits from this program. Hall and Michigan Rep. Joe Aragona-R-Clinton Township, who chairs the Housing Subcommittee, sent a letter to the governor’s office last week seeking a “detailed breakdown of the recipients,” with a particular emphasis on those who made asylum claims only after they were found to be in the U.S. illegally. 

“Resources are finite and must be allocated judiciously to ensure the program is available to the refugees and others for whom it is intended, and it is crucial that the program aligns with its intended goals and prioritizes those who have gone through the process correctly and are not facing imminent removal from the United States,” the lawmakers wrote. 


Hall said he had not received a response from the governor’s office answering these questions. Fox News Digital has reached out multiple times to the governor’s office for comment but did not hear back before publication. 

Fox News Digital’s Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report. 


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