Less than a week after Ruby Garcia’s funeral, Democrats are renewing calls to “Drive Safe!”

The slogan is the name given a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

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The 25-year-old Garcia was the victim of a gruesome Grand Rapids murder police allege was committed by an illegal immigrant with no driver’s license.

Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids, is a primary sponsor of the legislation.

“We must treat everyone with dignity. Everyone deserves safety and fairness. Let’s be a soft place to land,” state Rep. Emily Dievendorf, D-Kalamazoo, posted to X on Thursday, replying to a post from Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, two days prior. “Committed to passing necessary protections in employment and housing for agricultural and domestic workers and to support Drive Safe!”

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Chang’s post: “Immigrants are human beings. Immigrants are deserving of dignity. Without immigrants, our country’s agricultural sector, overall economy & healthcare system would crumble to a halt. P.S. Undocumented immigrants commit less crime than citizens.”

Obviously, every “undocumented” immigrant that does not go through a port of entry to the United States has committed a crime, and Garcia’s case and many others illustrate the tragic consequences that often follow. Michigan State Police contend Brandon Ortiz-Vite confessed to shooting Garcia multiple times on March 22 before dumping her body on US 131 and fleeing in her car. Ortiz-Vite was deported by the Trump administration in 2020 following a string of crimes, before returning to Grand Rapids during the Biden administration.

He now faces multiple potential life sentences for Garcia’s murder, which is at least the second committed by an illegal immigrant in Grand Rapids in just the last year. Others elsewhere have recently been sentenced for or accused of sex crimes against children.

Instead of focusing on how to prevent those crimes, Dievendorf and Chang want to ensure the roughly 700,000 folks in Michigan illegally can “Drive Safe!” by offering them driver’s licenses.

“I am proud to stand with the coalition to introduce these bills for the fifth and final time, because we are going to work extremely hard to finally make Drive SAFE bills a reality once and for all,” Chang said when Democrats re-introduced the legislation in April 2023. “Immigrants and others in Michigan are counting on us to restore access to driver’s licenses and state IDs and we will be a better state when we do so.”

Democrats contend the bill package “would apply to everyone living in Michigan who meets the definition of having a residence in the state” and would “increase public safety, grow local economies and preserve human dignity.”

“Michigan has almost 700,000 immigrants contributing to our vibrant communities,” Hood said. “These individuals come from a wide variety of backgrounds, talents and trades – before 2008, they were allowed access to receive state identification – it’s time they get this right back.”

Michigan Democrats are promoting other immigration policies as well, including a “newcomer” program created last year to pay residents $500 per month to house migrants, employment protections, and other measures.

The taxpayer-funded rental subsidies flow as Democrats in both chambers of the Legislature continue to block bills from Republicans aimed at outlawing sanctuary jurisdictions like those bankrupting Denver, Chicago, and New York City.

“Gretchen Whitmer’s rent subsidy program makes handouts available to illegal aliens who were caught in the country and then claimed asylum to avoid deportation,” Rep. Matt Hall, R- Richland Township, said. “They could get a year of taxpayer-funded housing – an incentive to stay in the country and in Michigan after making a frivolous asylum claim. Michiganders shouldn’t have their dollars taken to reward those who broke our immigration laws.”

Hall’s comments on Thursday come in response to the Whitmer administration’s promise to produce data on who is using the program, and how many are utilizing included loopholes to skirt eligibility requirements. Office of Global Michigan Director Poppy Sias-Hernandez promised to have that information to Hall and the Republican House of Representatives Housing Subcommittee Vice Chair Joe Aragona by Monday.

Instead, it was April Fools’ Day.