Welcome to FindLaw's coverage of existing Michigan legislation and rules related to individuals' immigration status. However, it is important to be aware of the relationship and tension between state and federal law when it comes to subjects involving immigration. Below you will find information on what, if any, rules Michigan has regarding immigration checks by law enforcement, educational institutions, and employers, as well as the existence of E-Verify requirements, restrictions on public benefits based on an individual's immigration status, and more.
Although immigration and enforcement are typically matters dealt with by federal immigration authorities, an increasing number of local and county law enforcement officials are starting to assist with, investigate, or pursue suspected immigration-related offenses. Also, under a federal program known as "Secure Communities", all individuals arrested are fingerprinted and run through a database which checks their immigration status. Additionally, legislators in Michigan have recently debated legislation that, like some other states, require police to check the immigration status of suspects they believe may be in the country illegally.
Under federal law, employers should refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules, as well as the requirements for Form I-9.
Michigan does not currently have legislation in place requiring the use of E-Verify by either state governmental agencies or private employers. Legislative efforts to implement E-Verify for state governmental agencies and contractors have been ongoing, however.
Michigan requires all applicants for a new driver's license or ID to submit documents establishing Social Security Number, legal presence in the United States, identity, and proof of Michigan residency. Please refer to the Michigan Secretary of State's website for more information on the specific types of documents required for each category.
Under federal law, illegal immigrants are prohibited from receiving public benefits, although they are allowed to receive emergency services, health care, and other programs that have been identified as "necessary to protect life and safety."
Michigan does not permit undocumented or illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state schools.
Michigan has a strict photo ID requirement requiring voters to present either a driver's licenses or state ID card, if they have one. In the absence of such, other acceptable forms of ID include passports, another current state ID, student ID card, and military ID's. Last, but not least, a voter who does not have one of the acceptable types of ID can still vote but must sign an affidavit in order to do so.
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you get the best results possible.