Michigan Republican grills Biden on taxpayer-funded rent subsidies going to asylum-seekers


FIRST ON FOX: A House Republican from Michigan is demanding to know whether federal tax dollars are going toward subsidizing housing for people who come to the U.S. illegally.

Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., wrote directly to President Biden on Wednesday regarding the federal government’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, arguing that its grant process “raises a number of troubling questions.”

Money awarded by the agency is being used for Michigan’s Newcomer Rental Subsidy program, which gives eligible refugees and asylum-seekers up to $500 in rental assistance per month. But critics of the program have argued that it’s vulnerable to abuse by illegal immigrants.

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Michigan GOP Rep. Lisa McClain wrote a letter to President Biden grilling him about whether the federal government is subsidizing rent for people who came to the U.S. illegally (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images | Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“With your failure to secure our borders, and the yearly number of border encounters increasing from 859,501 in [fiscal year 2019] to 1,151,448 in only the first five months of FY 2024, the Refugee Resettlement Program will only burden the U.S. taxpayer with higher costs,” McClain wrote to Biden.

To be eligible, migrants must be refugees, asylum-seekers, 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. 

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Gretchen Whitmer

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is taking criticism for a state program giving rental subsidies to asylum seekers. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

GOP critics say 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 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.”

In her letter, McClain questioned Biden directly on whether U.S. tax dollars are going toward housing assistance for people who entered the country illegally, and if not, she asked, “what is your administration doing to ensure U.S. tax dollars do not go toward housing assistance for those who have broken our laws and come across our borders illegally?”

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She also asked whether it’s possible, given the record number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, that U.S. federal refugee resettlement aid “could be viewed as yet another incentive by your Administration to roll out the red carpet and invite more people to illegally pour across our borders.”

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A Fox News analysis found last month that nearly 7.3 million migrants illegally crossed the southwest border under Biden, a number greater than the population of 36 individual states.

Fox News Digital reached out to both Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office as well as the White House for comment.



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