Illegal immigrant children could be brought to Mid-Michigan
VASSAR (WJRT) -
(07/07/14) - While the federal government grapples with illegal immigration issues, here in Mid-Michigan, a Tuscola County community is now part of the discussion.
Children from Central America have been illegally crossing into the U.S. without their parents and ending up in American facilities, in border-towns down south. As many as 80,000 children will cross illegally into the U.S. this year without their parents.
Now, the Wolverine Human Services Center in Vassar is looking at taking in some of those children.
Wolverine is a facility to treat troubled boys. They're negotiating with the Office of Refugee Resettlement to house 60 to 120 parentless boys from Central America.
We spoke with them on the phone, Monday afternoon.
These boys would range in age from 12 to 17 years old. Ideally, they would only be here for two to four weeks.
While at Wolverine, they would learn basic life skills. They would be immunized within 48 hours.
Wolverine is working with another organization, who they did not name, to find them a family member in the U.S. who will take care of them until the immigration process is complete.
"There's another organization that would be working on a reunification piece, identifying a family member in the united states that the family could go stay with while they go through the immigration court process," said Derrick McCree, senior vice president of residential services.
While they are here, they would not be allowed to work, they would not attend public schools and they would not be integrated into the community.
The federal government would foot the bill if this contract goes through.
"How can we? It's going to cripple our system. We don't have enough money to take care of our own veterans," said Tamyra Murray.
Still, many are worried about the unknowns involved in this process.
Some in the community are concerned about the effect on the economy and the community's safety. "We're worried about jobs. The people who are 17 in a year will be competing with our kids for jobs," Murray said. "It's going to be easy for the Cartel to come in and set up operations here."
A group is planning to protest outside Vassar City Hall Monday night at 6 before their council meeting.