Immigrant children land in Michigan

Posted: 8:13 AM, Jun 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-20 15:10:20Z
Immigrant children land in Michigan
Immigrant children land in Michigan

The separation of children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border has landed on Michigan's doorsteps.

The Detroit Free Press reports that a foster care agency in the state is scrambling to take care of dozens of immigrant children who were separated from their parents at the border.

Bethany Christian Services is located in West Michigan and has a contract with the federal government to handle refugee resettlement, and in this case, find foster homes for immigrant children.

Samaritas is another group in the state that is applying for permission to take 50 to 60 kids in response to the latest zero-tolerance policy.

The Trump Administration said this policy the zero-tolerance policy is to deter people from breaking the law and coming into the U.S. illegally.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights said it's assessing the zero-tolerance policy's impact on the state.

In response to this situation, Agustin V. Arbulu, Executive Director of Michigan Department of Civil Rights released the following statement:

“While the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, along with people all over the nation, decry the forced separation of children from their parents taking place on our southern border, the policy is a federal issue and beyond the scope of this department’s responsibilities under law. But for those children who have been separated from their parents and brought to Michigan, the Department of Civil Rights has a duty to make sure their civil rights are protected.”

“This week, I have been in touch with various agencies and organizations working with these vulnerable children. We have received reports and are very concerned that the children arriving here are much younger than those who have been transported here in the past. Some of the children are infants as young as three months of age and are completely unable to advocate for themselves. While we commend the work of resettlement agencies in Michigan attempting to serve these children with dignity and compassion, nothing can replace the love, sense of security and care of a parent.”

“I take very seriously our responsibility under state law to see to it that the civil rights of every person in this state, especially these vulnerable children in crisis, are protected. We will continue to monitor this situation closely to ensure the rights of these children are protected to the fullest extent.”

As pressure from both sides of the aisle against the Trump Administration's family separation policy grows daily -- the President is scheduled to meet with lawmakers later Wednseday morning at the White House.

The meeting will come a day after President Trump reportedly told House Republicans he was with them "1000%" on rival immigration bills up for votes.

We'll also likely hear more from the President on the issue later Wednesday in Minnesota where he's scheduled to take part in a round-table discussion and rally.

Meanwhile the White House has confirmed Ivanka Trump is talking to her father about putting a stop to separating children from their parents at the border.

The first daughter offered the President support saying she would talk to any member of congress to try to help find a legislative solution to the issue.

Just over the weekend -- First Lady Melania Trump weighed in on the controversial issue -- saying she hates seeing children separated from their families and "the U.S. needs to follow all laws but govern with heart."