10-10-2019 MI AG joins in support for “Dreamers” Program; MI AG joins in support for “Dreamers” Prog

MI AG joins in support for “Dreamers” Program

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined several states in filing a brief in the lawsuit against the federal government’s unlawful rescission of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a decision that could put 669,000 undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children at risk for deportation. Filed last week with the U.S. Supreme Court in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California, et. al., the brief argues that allowing these individuals to participate in American society generates significant positive impacts for not only the individual states, but the nation as a whole. “Michigan is home to approximately 13,000 residents eligible for deferred action under the DACA program and these hard-working Michiganders paid more than $23 million in state and local taxes according to a September report from the Center for American Progress,” said Nessel. “I joined in filing this brief because the thought of their protections disappearing is unconscionable and would have significant and adverse effects on our economy, but more importantly it would rob so many of them of the only life they know—a life in America.” The DACA program allows recipients – better known as Dreamers – to go to work or school and live without fear of deportation while pursuing their dreams. Dreamers are often students and teachers, military service members, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, health care workers, and child and elder care workers contributing to communities across the nation and the economy. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California, et. al. on Nov. 12, 2019. More than 25 Governors or state Attorneys General are participating in the case in support of DACA. Nessel joins the Attorneys General of Nevada and Wisconsin, along with the Governors of Kansas and Montana in filing this brief in support of the case.

Rep. Wendzel testifies before Judiciary Committee

Bipartisan expungement package hearings begin State Rep. Pauline Wendzel testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on behalf of her bill, House Bill 4981. Rep. Wendzel’s bill is part of a six bill package that is aimed at making Michigan a national leader in expungement policy. “I’m incredibly proud of this bipartisan package of bills,” Wendzel said. “This legislation will not only make Michigan a national leader in terms of expungement policy, but will continue moving the state forward as we reform our criminal justice system.” HB 4981 would exclude only certain traffic offenses, rather than all traffic offenses, from being eligible to be expunged. The bill would also shorten the period of time that a person must wait before he or she may apply to have one or more convictions set aside. Currently, state law prohibits any traffic offenses from being set aside from a person’s criminal record, and a conviction for a traffic offense is included in the total number of felonies and misdemeanors on a person’s record when determining if the person is eligible to apply to have one or more convictions set aside. “My part of this package allows for the expungement of traffic offenses through a petition system. Currently, this is prohibited under state law,” Rep. Wendzel said. “Alcohol related offenses such as DUIs and any offense that cause serious injury or death are not eligible for expungement under my bill.” House Bills 4980-4985 are currently before the House Judiciary Committee.

Southwestern Medical Clinic welcomes new pediatrician

Spectrum Health Lakeland is pleased to welcome pediatrician, Elizabeth Douce, MD, to the medical staff. Dr. Douce will see patients alongside five other physicians and advance practitioners at Southwestern Medical Clinic in Stevensville, located at 5515 Cleveland Avenue. The practice is currently accepting new patients from birth to 18 years of age. Dr. Douce earned her medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She completed a pediatrics residency with Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. Prior to coming to Lakeland, Dr. Douce served as a pediatrician at The Pediatric Center in Leesville, Louisiana. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and a current American Academy of Pediatrics Fellow. Dr. Douce completed medical mission trips to both Nicaragua and Honduras. “Dr. Douce is a welcome addition to our practice and joins a dedicated team of pediatric providers,” said Emily Caudell, practice manager, Southwestern Medical Clinic. “We encourage anyone who is planning to expand their family, or is currently expecting, to contact us so we can work together to pair you with a provider that is the best fit for your entire family.” Pediatric providers at Southwestern Medical Clinic care for a child’s general medical, psychological and developmental needs and provide a broad spectrum of preventative and diagnostic care.