The ACLU has been one of the nation's leading advocates for the rights of immigrants, refugees and non-citizens, challenging unconstitutional laws and practices, countering the myths upon which many of these laws are based. The ACLU supports rights for all people within the United States and is committed to expanding and enforcing the civil liberties and civil rights of non-citizens and to combating public and private discrimination against immigrants.
All Refugees in Michigan, America Deserve Compassion
Following the recent abhorrent terrorist attacks in Paris by extremists, fear has spread throughout our country, largely in part due to misinformation. And this fear has generated, rekindled, and exacerbated feelings of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racism within our communities towards our neighbors.
ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Reacts to Snyder Flip-Flop on Refugees
Kary Moss, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan, has issued a statement urging Gov. Rick Snyder to reconsider his recent decision to back away from a plan to relocate hundreds of Syrian refugees in Michigan.
Marriage Rights for Immigrants
The Kent County Clerk’s office refuses to issue marriage licenses to individuals who do not have social security numbers unless the individual appears in person to sign an affidavit.
In July 2013, a young Kent County woman tried to get a license to marry her fiancé who was being held in immigration detention. The clerk’s office refused to allow the marriage because the prospective husband could not physically appear in the clerk’s office to sign the affidavit.
Racial Profiling by ICE
The ACLU represented two Latino residents of Grand Rapids, Telma and Luis Valdez, who were detained and assaulted by agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) even though Luis is a U.S. citizen and Thelma is a lawful permanent resident.
Tuition Equality for Undocumented Students
Until recently, undocumented students who were admitted to the University of Michigan were required to pay out-of-state tuition, even if they grew up in Michigan and attended the public schools.
A student-led group called the Coalition for Tuition Equality had been lobbying the University of Michigan since 2011 to fix this injustice. Although there was support for tuition equality on the Board of Regents, some university officials expressed concern that federal law did not permit such a thing.
Driver’s Licenses for DREAMers
In 2012, the Obama Administration announced that young immigrants who were brought by their parents to the United States as children and who attended American schools are now eligible to remain in the country and work here under a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Even though Michigan law says that all immigrants who are “legally present” are eligible for driver’s licenses, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson refused to issue licenses to DACA recipients.