News Story

Feds fund 98% of the Office of Global Michigan

Money and ideas driving refugee resettlement in Michigan come from Washington

The Office of Global Michigan, which was created to facilitate the resettlement of refugees to Michigan, is a federally funded venture. In 2024, federal money covers 98% of the office’s budget.

In the 2024 budget, Michigan lawmakers approved $39,127,500 for the Office of Global Michigan. Only $758,000 of that came from the general fund.

The lion’s share, 98%, or $38,369,000, came from the federal government.

Michigan is a top-10 state for refugees, according to the Office of Global Michigan. The state brought in about 7,500 refugees last year, according to the office’s annual report. A plurality of them, about 3,500, hailed from Ukraine and were displaced by Russia’s invasion.

Michigan has chosen to follow the private sponsorship model of refugee resettlement. That, too, came from the federal government.

Earlier this week the Office of Global Michigan published its inaugural monthly newsletter. Under accomplishments, one section reads:

Private sponsorship model: Demonstrated state leadership for the federal private sponsorship model, providing additional state supports for Welcome Corp and other federal sponsorship programs.

The Welcome Corps are the people who open their homes to refugees. But the responsibilities don’t end there. Sponsors are expected to help refugee children find schooling and help the adults find housing and jobs.

“Sponsors are expected to provide support to newly arrived refugees for 90 days through acts such as greeting refugee newcomers at the airport, securing and preparing initial housing, enrolling children in school and helping adults find employment,” the Office of Global Michigan said when asking for Welcome Corps volunteers.

“You already have the most important skill you need to succeed,” the Welcome Corps website assures would-be volunteers. “an understanding of daily life in your community and a desire to lend a hand.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.