Migrant teens from Central America to be housed in Farmington Hi - FOX 13 News

Migrant teens from Central America to be housed in Farmington Hills

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FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (myFOXDetroit.com) - Twenty-four illegal immigrant teens from Central America will soon be housed at Wellspring Lutheran Services in Farmington Hills, which has secured a federal contract.

The immigration issue is a major one, and what seemed far, far away is now coming closer and closer to home.

"We've been watching this for  six, eight weeks now, now it's Michigan," said William Largent, president and CEO of Meskwaki. the business arm of the Sac & Fox Tribe of Iowa.

The thoughts and opinions are plenty.

At the top of the topic is Well Spring Lutheran Services, a foster home for teens who are transitioning into independent living. It's located on 9 Mile in Farmington Hills.

"We received an advisory from our office, I am assuming that the city (also) received from the federal government that children will be coming here to be housed," said Rep. Vicki Barnett (D - Farmington Hills). "The refugee children from Central (America) and South America that have made their way up to the United States and are in need of shelter and food until the federal government and the immigration department determines what to do."

Wellspring has a contract for up to one year to house up to 24 males between the ages of 14 to 16. It provides safety, food and shelter, guidance and education.

Ken Massey, Farmington Hills city councilman said that there may be some relatives of the teens in the area who could be reunited.

Barnett said that it is a federal issue, the state and community did not ask for this.

"Put yourself in the shoes of a mom or dad," she said. "How bad must it be, where they are for them to make their way alone all this distance."

The question is, what is the next step, Largent said, asking about the safety of the borders.

"This is a humanitarian crisis in the short term," Largent said. We're a pretty flexible community and I think we'll take them in and do right by them...We have to see what the long-term solution is going to be, but it can't be living in Farmington Hills."

The teens are expected to arrive sometime in August.

About 24 boys and girls between 6 years old and 13, will be housed at the Wellsprings location in Bay City.

Federal money will be used to take care of children.

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