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Washtenaw County takes steps to support undocumented residents

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new plan could help support Washtenaw County's undocumented residents.

The plan would give undocumented immigrants the same county-wide benefits as citizens.  Washtenaw County officials voted Wednesday to give initial approval to the plan.

Commissioner Conan Smith was a primary supporter of the plan.

"It's essential for our economy and our social fabric that we express how welcome they are as members of our community," Smith said.

He says this plan is especially important in light of national policies against undocumented immigrants.

"I think it's a real reflection of the compassion of the residents of Washtenaw County and the willingness of our people to say we're part of a global community," Smith said.

Washtenaw County is home to more than forty-thousand immigrants. It's not known how many are undocumented.

The plan now waits for final approval on May 17.