Trump Slams Governor Over Immigration Housing Plan “Newcomers Rental Strategy”

( – In October 2023, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Global Michigan (OGM) launched a program approved by Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI). The initiative, the Newcomer Rental Subsidy program, provides up to $500 per month to eligible immigrants for rental assistance for as long as a year. Recent concerns about the program elicited a response from former President Donald Trump.

On April 10, Trump harshly criticized the program and Whitmer, stating she was “handing out $500 a month in cash to anyone who accepts illegal aliens into [their] homes.” The former president called it a “scam” that is inviting “illegal immigrants” to her state that he claims are coming from “jails” and “mental institutions.” The former president stated that Whitmer and President Joe Biden were “stealing [taxpayer] money to give free housing to “illegal alien migrants” and asking residents to house them.

But that’s not how the program works. The Newcomer Rental Subsidy only gives assistance to eligible migrants who meet certain criteria. The applicants must have a status recognized by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, be under 185% of the Federal Poverty Line, live in a Qualified Census Tract area, and meet other income and program requirements. The rental assistance does not require any residents to take refugees into their homes.

The subsidy program hit the spotlight recently because two state lawmakers — Michigan State House Republican Leader Matt Hall (R) and Housing Subcommittee Republican Vice Chair Joe Aragona (R)—have concerns about possible loopholes that could be exploited by those who don’t meet the criteria.

Michigan News Source stated the program allows those who entered the US illegally and subsequently applied for asylum to possibly receive assistance. Hall and Aragona believe that part could incentivize illegal immigration, citing a lack of accountability in the program. Aragona said the possible exploitation is not fair to struggling American families and those who arrive in the US legally.

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