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HomeNewsMichigan Lawmaker Faces Backlash After Referring to Student-Athletes As “Illegal Invaders”

Michigan Lawmaker Faces Backlash After Referring to Student-Athletes As “Illegal Invaders”

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A Michigan state lawmaker involved in former President Donald Trump’s election denials sparked outrage after falsely claiming buses carrying college athletes to Detroit for March Madness were shuttling illegal migrant “invaders” into the city.

A picture of Michigan Lawmaker Matt maddock
Source: Pinterest

State House Rep. Matt Maddock claimed in a social media post on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. The lawmaker accompanied the post with photos of three buses near an Allegiant plane at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Maddock wrote that the buses “just loaded up with illegal invaders.”

“Anyone has any idea where they’re headed with their police escort?” the Republican wrote on X, formerly Twitter. Notably, Maddock describes himself as Michigan’s “most conservative state representative” in his profile on the platform.

After the post made rounds on social media, the Wayne County Airport Authority debunked the claim in a statement. The statement read that four college basketball teams traveling to Detroit for the second weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament arrived by plane.

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The statement added that the “buses in a photograph circulating online were transporting the basketball teams and their respective staffs.” After the airport authority’s statement, Maddock’s post drew swift criticism on social media.

Social media users noted an earlier post on the Gonzaga men’s basketball team’s social media page. They claimed the page had indicated their departure for Detroit, featuring an Allegiant plane. Hence, they called the lawmaker out for falsely claiming that he saw a bus of migrants.

In addition to regular internet users, fellow lawmakers criticized Maddock for his false claims. State Sen. Mallory McMorrow, a Democrat, took a swipe at Maddock for his statement, saying it was “pretty rude.” “A sitting State Representative sees a group of buses at the airport and immediately yells ‘illegal invaders,'” McMorrow said.

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POLL—Should the U.S. Government Create a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?

“Which is a pretty rude (and dangerous) way to greet the Gonzaga Men’s Basketball Team arriving for March Madness.” However, despite the outrage and criticism, Maddock doubled down on his posts on Thursday, March 28.

He claimed that hundreds of thousands of “illegals are pouring into our country” and into Michigan. Also, the state lawmaker declined to acknowledge that the buses were transporting basketball players.

“I haven’t heard a good answer yet,” Maddock wrote. “I took a tip and asked because this is happening in many places, and it is well documented.” However, some Republicans who had initially echoed Maddock’s claims in his original post quickly backtracked.

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One such is Michigan GOP chairman Pete Hoekstra, who quickly retracted his comments. Maddock, a Republican representing parts of metro Detroit, was endorsed by Trump while running for reelection in 2022. While endorsing Maddock, Trump said Michigan needs leadership “who will investigate the 2020 voter fraud, the crime of the century.”

His wife, Meshawn Maddock, was the former co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party. She is one of 15 Republicans facing eight criminal charges on accusations of acting as fake electors. She worked for then-President Trump in 2020. However, defendants in the case have pleaded not guilty.

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