Alma clears way to house teens from US border

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 10:59 AM EDT
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ALMA, Mich. (AP) - Officials in Alma have granted a request to house migrant boys in a former nursing home.

The Alma City Commission rejected the recommendation of the Planning Commission. It’s been a hot issue and the subject of tense summer meetings.

Bethany Christian Services wants to use a former nursing home to provide housing for up to 40 days or until a sponsor can be found. The boys are ages 12 to 17.

They crossed the U.S. border without parents or guardians and do not have legal status in this country. The federal government projects that by September, about 22,000 to 26,000 unaccompanied minors will arrive at the border each month and require federal care.

The project in Alma would house those unaccompanied teens while looking for relatives in the U.S. to take them in.

The planning commission voted to turn down the zoning request with a vote of 4-2 after discussing the issue during two meetings, one of which lasted over four hours.

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