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Election Integrity News Blog


Bypass a Wall. Grab a Ballot (Part 2)

Is Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ‘Newcomer Program’ helping illegal migrants, or is it using them as pawns to register and vote?


By Patrice Johnson    | May 8, 2024

Last week, Part 1 of this series examined the legal abuse and loopholes designed into Michigan’s "newcomer program." House Minority Leader Matt Hall (R) and Representative Jamie Thompson (R), frustrated at the program's lack of transparency, submitted a request for an audit to the state’s Office of Auditor General. But the legislators’ questions to the OAG focused on assessing whether taxpayer funds are being put to legal use. Here, Part Two of Bypass a Wall. Grab a Ballot pulls back the curtain on the elephant in the room:

Is Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s pet “newcomer program” a funnel system for registering illegal migrants and other noncitizens to vote? Is it suppressing citizens’ votes—all the while putting vulnerable noncitizens at risk of deportation, fines, felony charges, and destroying their chances to become naturalized citizens?

The contents may be disturbing.

Lifting the cone of silence

The cone of silence shrouding President Joseph Biden’s open border policy lifted during a New York City press conference last winter. Sixteen minutes into the presser, a reporter asked Mayor Eric Adams (D) if he would speak to the “continued onslaught of migrants.” (Watch: “Mayor Eric Adams Holds In-Person Media Availability,” Dec. 26, 2023. Go to 16:00).


Adams’ replied, “There are a lot of things that are feeding off of the migrant policy.” He said, “We’re going to start seeing the physical aspects of this crisis. We’ve done a good job of keeping that physical aspect away from New Yorkers, but the dam has burst.”

The shock of the NYC mayor's calling the immigration situation a “crisis” and warning of impending violence topped the news headlines for a day or two. Meanwhile, no one inquired into the first part of his statement. No one asked, What are the “things that are feeding off of the migrant policy”?


As details come to light on the partisan push for noncitizens to vote, the question arises: Is Michigan’s Newcomer Rental Subsidy Program one of those unnamed creatures feasting on the casualties of Biden’s open-door migrant policy?

Connecting the dots to the Newcomer Program


As reported in Part One, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Board announced its approval of the Newcomer Rental Subsidy (NRS) on April 21, 2023. The program, MSHDA said, “will provide temporary support for refugees and other immigrant populations coming to the state.” All told, the state’s development authority allocated about $23 million of taxpayer dollars to the program.


However, immigration is now voters’ No. 1 issue. A February Monmouth poll showed 84 percent of Americans view it as a serious or somewhat serious problem. A March Gallup poll indicated that immigration is the top “unprompted issue” on voters’ minds, with 68 percent of Americans disapproving of President Biden’s handling of the border.

Given the unpopularity of unbounded immigration among Americans, one has to question the motives behind Governor Whitmer’s and President Biden’s open-door immigration policies. Are the two pols acting out of the goodness of their hearts, or are they engaging in executive branch overreach out of self-interest? (Why Did This Left-Wing Elections Group Send An Iraqi Refugee A Voter Registration Form? and Report From the Southern Border: 'We Want Biden To Win') 

Registering noncitizen voters and illegal aliens to vote

On March 6, 2024, Mississippi’s Secretary of State Michael Watson (R) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, stating, “The Department of Justice appears to be using taxpayer dollars to have…the U.S. Marshals Service encourage…noncitizens to register to vote.” @MichaelWatsonMS:

Secretary Watson’s letter “Our understanding is that everyone in the Marshals’ custody is given a form advising them of their right to register and vote.” (Watch interview with Charlie Kirk and Mississippi’s Secretary of State.)

In addition, the allure of the financial benefits is reported to attract noncitizens to travel to other states. During a recent visit to Colorado, a Michigan resident texted MFE:

Good morning! I just read your newcomer program article. It really is insane. My Lyft driver yesterday had immigrated from Cuba. He was so excited to go to Colorado because he said, “It’s the most welcoming to immigrants.” He used Google translate to tell me about his benefits: It was something like $600 a month on housing and $300 a month on food, and he can apply for residency after being here one year and one day. -- MFE supporter, May 4, 2024

Sound coordinated? Perhaps Governors Whitmer and Jared Polis (D) of CO would like to tell readers what outside organization crafted their eerily similar “newcomer programs.”

As Mississippi’s Secretary Watson stated in his letter to the DOJ, “Providing ineligible noncitizens with information on how to register to vote undoubtedly encourages them to illegally register to vote, exposing them to legal jeopardy beyond their immigration status.”


The FBI website states, “An election crime is generally a federal crime if the “conduct involves false voter registration,” yet at every stage of the immigration process, the federal government appears to require its agencies to encourage noncitizens, whether in-country legally or illegally, to register and vote.

The immigrants are likely to believe what U.S. officials tell them. Who wouldn’t? Meanwhile, in registering or voting these legal noncitizens and illegal migrants are destroying their chances of becoming naturalized citizens. They are risking fines, jail time, and deportation.

Also, considering that migrants are by definition migratory, what is to prevent an illegal migrant from traveling to multiple states and registering to receive multiple benefits…and multiple absentee mail-in ballots?

Two types of voter suppression may offset honest votes in an election. The first type prevents a legal person from voting. The second occurs when an ineligible yet counted ballot nullifies a legitimate vote. The issue of interfering with a person’s right to vote tends to attract more attention, but illegitimate votes infused into the ballot stream are equally damaging. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall summarized the problem in Anderson vs. US 417 U.S. 211 (1974) when he cited another judge’s words.


The deposit of forged ballots in the ballot boxes, no matter how small or great their number, dilutes the influence of honest votes in an election, and whether in greater or less degree is immaterial.

--Prichard v. United States, 181 F.2d 326, [417 U.S. 211, 227] 331 (CA6), aff'd due to absence of quorum, 339 U.S. 974 (1950)


Unfortunately, as progressives witness a downward spiral in the polls and fear an impending loss of power, they appear to have adopted a desperate strategy to suppress the constitutionally guaranteed votes of tens of thousands of American citizens, including naturalized immigrants who worked hard to lawfully obtain their citizenship.

Paul Jacob, president of the Americans for Citizen Voting PAC, appears to have been correct when told the American Conservative,  

“Americans should be very concerned about the threat of non-citizens voting in our elections.”

Illegal migrants affect House seats and state electoral votes

“Most Americans are shocked to find out that today illegal migrants are used in the calculation of the number of people in the given state to allocate congressional districts and electoral college votes to the states,” U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) told Maria Bartiromo of Fox News.

Hagerty said he had put a simple vote forward. His proposal? Only citizens should be counted in the U.S. 10-year Census for the purposes of allocating congressional districts and state electoral votes.

Hagerty’s bill was voted down on March 8, by all Democrats and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (R). (Watch video: Illegal immigration to build political power)

Allocation of seats in the U.S. House is based, under the Constitution, on each state’s total population as counted in each 10-year census. Michigan, home to around 10 million residents, lost an electoral vote, dropping to 15 from 16, due to the state’s anemic 1% growth.

In 2016, Michigan was the fourth largest state for refugee resettlement, taking in more than 30,000 arrivals over the last decade, Global Detroit, an economic development organization reported. After Biden pulled out of Afghanistan in 2021, and the Taliban took over, hundreds of unvetted Afghans arrived in Michigan. Agencies scrambled to house families, amid an already short supply of affordable housing.

In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against the Trump Administration’s plea to reinstate the citizenship question on the 10-year, 2020 U.S. Census. With the citizenship question removed, larger states like California, Florida, and New York gained or retained approximately 20 House seats.

The human toll of exploiting illegal migrants for their ballots

Candidates may have little to lose and much to gain from receiving illegal ballots, but noncitizens and illegal migrants have everything to lose if they cast unlawful ballots. As MFE reported in Part One of this series, no state in the union allows a noncitizen to cast a legal ballot in a federal election. Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, enacted under the presidency of Democrat Bill Clinton, explicitly prohibits noncitizens from voting in federal elections.


According to Bipartisan Policy Center,Illegally voting in a federal election can result in a fine and up to one year in federal prison. Additionally, a noncitizen found guilty of this crime may face deportation and revocation of their legal status under immigration law. Falsely claiming U.S. citizenship for the purpose of registering to vote may also result in deportation or denial of future immigration status.

Only legal immigrants are allowed work permits in the U.S., and out of the more than 100,000 migrants that arrived in the city, Adams said only 2,200 (2.2%) had been approved for employment. He attributed the burden of coping with an influx of migrants into the city for 5% budget cuts to city programs and services, including police training.

“When I talk about the devastating impact of the migrant and asylum seekers, people only think about the volume of people that are coming in,” Adams explained. Then he asked, what did the public expect when you have migrants here for months without jobs and no means to feed their families? “Last week 4,000 came to our city that we have to feed, clothe, house, and educate.”

As of March 2024, 7.2 million illegal immigrants had entered the U.S. under the Biden Administration. The sheer volume is creating an underground class of out-of-work residents that exceeds the populations of 36 U.S. states.

record 51 million noncitizens live in the United States, illegal migrants included. For perspective, New York and Texas, the nation’s largest states, have populations around 30 million. 

Experts cite additional side effects as well, including shortages of temporary housing and price increases in rental housing. Residents suffer from a scarcity of jobs and downward pressure on wages in the service industry and labor, not to mention security concerns regarding infiltration by military-aged men from foreign adversaries. See Border agency ‘baffled’ by dramatic migrant surge from China – 700 illegally crossings in just one week

Part One of this series showed that the vast majority, 81%, of asylum seekers claim asylum only after they are apprehended and face deportation. Participants in the Newcomer Rental Subsidy Program receive too little and too loose screening before qualifying to receive up to $6,000 in rent subsidies over a 12-month period.

In conclusion

Michiganders and Americans are justified in their concern about the threat of non-citizens voting in our nation’s elections. Voter suppression is real, and noncitizen voting threatens to cancel out the constitutionally guaranteed votes of tens of thousands or even millions of American citizens.

In addition to violating the law and devastating the integrity of the nation’s elections, encouraging illegal migration causes harm to legal immigrants, illegal migrants, and existing citizens. Harms include rising crime rates, artificial shortages, higher prices on rental housing, pressure on social services, a loss of local control of communities, and an overall decline in the rule of law. For the leaders in power to exploit illegal migrants as political pawns is despicable behavior.

While laudable that House Minority Leader Matt Hall (R) and Representative Jamie Thompson (R) are inquiring into the legality of the program and pursuing a request for Michigan’s Office of the Auditor General to audit the program, the lawmakers ought also to ask, What is being done to ensure that illegal migrants and legal noncitizens are not being registered to vote?

Voters have a right to demand the nation’s commander in chief and our state’s governor stop exposing residents to the economic, societal, and cultural harms of unbridled immigration and noncitizen voter registrations.


What sort of political animal would feed off of the migrant policy for partisan or personal gain at the expense of one's nation, fellow citizens, legal immigrants, and vulnerable illegal migrants?

Putting a “newcomer policy” into place to attract hordes of unvetted migrants is one thing. To do so in order to influence the outcome of the 2024 elections and preserve or increase the electoral votes in slow-growth states crosses multiple ethical and legal lines.



Patrice Johnson, chairs Michigan Fair Elections (MFE) and Pure Integrity Michigan Elections (PIME). A former teacher, entrepreneur, and author, Patrice has founded five successful companies and served as senior executive with a Fortune 100 technology company. In 2017, she authored the book, the Fall and Rise of Tyler Johnson, which became the basis of a PBS documentary film, Finding Tyler. Questions or comments? Email:


Come Hear Special Guest Attorney Dr. John C. Eastman. 

 “Lawfare in America: War on Election Integrity.

Stand Now or Forever Bow."

Before the 2020 election Attorney John Eastman was a nationally renowned professor of law and community service. He was dean of his law school and an expert in constitutional law. He had a Ph.D. in government and a doctorate in jurisprudence (law) from the University of Chicago Law School. 

Then, Eastman defended President Donald Trump and became a target of progressive lawfare. Since then, he has been criminally indicted, de-banked, and recommended for disbarment. 


Still, Eastman is undeterred and more convinced than ever that the rule of law and election integrity are under assault. Come meet the man. Hear his story. Learn what you can do to help restore integrity to Michigan's elections.


You are invited. Come meet special guest speaker, Dr. John C. Eastman.

“Lawfare in America: War on Election Integrity. Stand Now or Forever Bow.”

Thursday, May 9, 7:15 PM


Sponsored by Michigan Fair Elections  

7:00 PM Doors Open  

7:15 PM Meet and Greet 

7:30 PM Speaker John Eastman, “Lawfare in America and the War on Election Integrity. Stand Now or Forever Bow”  

Location: Ramada by Wyndham Hotel, 7501 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing MI 48917 

No charge. Donations welcomed. Email: 

Background: Click here to read: The Rule of Law Depends on John Eastman


Learn how We The People can win back and secure OUR Future.

Join us Thursday May 9th, at 12 PM for

MFE's Coalition Task Force Meeting

To attend this meeting, use the Registration link below . It changes weekly.

After registering, you will receive an email with details on how to join the meeting.

Note: Representatives of the media are allowed in our meetings only with prior permission.

Important Notes and Disclaimers for Election Integrity Network National Working Groups and coalition calls

  • We operate under strict 501 (c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan guidelines. Please do not make any comments during the call or in the chat that are directly related to any campaign or candidate running for office or could be considered an endorsement or opposition of that candidate.

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Please donate to Michigan Fair Elections 

MFE is a fiercely independent, tax-exempt 501(c)3 charity. We rely on voluntary contributions to fund our important, and sometimes costly, work. Legal claims are sometimes essential to improve the government and protect citizen rights, and they can be expensive. MFE accepts no government funding.

Please support MFE's investigative research, honest journalism, and litigative actions to defend We the People's inalienable rights as protected in the U.S. Constitution. Donate today to assist our educational efforts to protect the principles of individual liberty in America.


Mark Your Calendars!

Join us Saturday, May 11th for the Pure Integrity Michigan Elections

(PIME) monthly meeting.

This month's keynote speaker will be Jason Woolford, candidate for the House of Representative's 50th District. Jason, a retired Marine and now president of Mission Cry / Christian Resources International has become an established conservative leader and is running for office this November.

Jason will be discussing the importance of the evangelical vote in our coming elections as well as experiences he has had at the southern border.

Find out more about Jason at his website:

Also, as usual, get updates from the team on election legislation, upcoming events, ballot initiatives, fundraising, and on-going litigation.

It's a pot-luck, so come hungry and bring a dish to pass if you are so inclined.

Click the link below to see our schedule for upcoming speakers, including David Kallman from Kallman Legal Group, and Bill Whitbeck of

Hope to see you there!


Mark your calendars to attend Election Integrity Network's outstanding national working groups. Consider also serving as liaison to report to MFE's Task Force Coalition on our Thursday meetings.


  • Citizen Research Project | Ned Jones, EIN

  • Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE

  • Election Technology | Jim Womack, NCEIT

  • Every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 4 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE

  • Introduction to Election Integrity Infrastructure | Kerri Toloczko and Ned Jones, EIN

  • Every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE

  • Vote By Mail / USPS | Ned Jones, EIN

  • Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 4 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE

  • Legislative Development | Kathleen Harms, TN

  • Every Wednesday at 2 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE

  • Voter Roll Maintenance | Willard Helander, EIN

  • Every Wednesday at 4 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE

  • Vulnerable Voters | Kerri Toloczko, EIN

  • Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 4 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE

  • Every 1st Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE

  • Election Audits | Mike Raisch

  • Every 1st and 3rd Thursday at 4 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE

  • Building Local Task Forces | Joshua Taylor

  • Every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE

  • Media Training | Kerri Toloczko

  • Every 1st Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET)

  • Register HERE


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the authors and do not reflect the official position of the Michigan Fair Elections. Every article written by an MFE author is generated by the author or editor alone. Links embedded within the article, however, may have been generated by artificial intelligence.


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