MDCR Director Releases Statement on Executive Order on Immigration

Contact: Vicki Levengood 517-241-7978
Agency: Civil Rights

January 29, 2017

From Agustin V. Arbulu

“As Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, I fully understand that immigration and border security are federal matters over which we have no legal authority. At the same time, we believe it is necessary to state our position - a position we believe is central not only to the laws we enforce, but upon which our nation was built:  that every person must be judged by the content of their character, not by the country of their origin.

When government treats entire groups of people based on its worst elements, it not only harms other members of the group, it hurts us all. It is particularly damaging in times like now, when we must work to mend our divisions, not multiply them. Relying on stereotypes instead of facts will always foster unintended consequences, like bias, hate and prejudice. It strengthens our enemies and drives away our friends.

We are encouraged by Saturday’s court rulings that will prevent anyone already legally authorized to enter the US from being returned to their home countries. We hope this development will encourage the administration to reconsider the breadth of the Executive Order.

During this time of uncertainty and confusion, we urge everyone to act with restraint and not in ways that foster fear and division.”

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