Is Wolverine Human Services preparing to house Central American refugee children?

By Tom Gilchrist
For The Advertiser

VASSAR — City leaders here have been invited to a Tuesday meeting at Wolverine Human Services’ Vassar Campus, possibly regarding the housing of refugees from Central America there.

“I’m assuming that’s what this invitation is for, just with more black and white details and formulating a plan of action and such,” Vassar City Manager Brad Barrett said Wednesday.

Reports are circulating regarding the housing of young refugees at the Vassar Campus, according to Barrett.

“I’ve heard those rumors,” Barrett said. “I’m going to reserve my right to comment until after the informational meeting. I just know they have space available there.”

Wolverine Human Services, based in Grosse Pointe Park, has opened a number of facilities in Vassar — the first being Pioneer Work and Learn Center in 1988. About 140 youths — including males and females — now reside on the Vassar Campus, though there’s room for about 120 more such clients, according to Derrick McCree, Wolverine Human Services senior vice president.

“We have two closed facilities,” McCree said.

The Wolverine Human Services website states Wolverine “continues to provide the best possible services to the children and families of Michigan.” The website doesn’t indicate if Wolverine plans to house out-of-state children, or immigrants who are among the tens of thousands of children crossing illegally into Texas in recent months from Central American countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

McCree said “We do not currently




When asked if Wolverine is trying to land such a contract, McCree said “That’s up to the government in terms of what we’re doing. I have no insight there.”

According to Wolfe, federal officials are identifying facilities as potential locations “to increase the medical care and temporary sheltering capacity” for the child refugees. When asked if the Vassar Campus or other Michigan locations have been chosen to house child refugees, Wolfe stated “Facilities will be announced when they are identified as viable options.”

According to federal statistics, the number of unaccompanied alien children being served by a federal program will have more than quadrupled from fiscal year 2012 — when 13,625 were served — to a projection of 60,000 children being served in fiscal year 2014, which ends this fall.

The chidren come primarily from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, with most of them over age 14 and three-quarters of them male. They flee to the U.S. to join family members already here, escape abuse or exploitation, or to seek employment or educational opportunities, according to federal sources.

Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the U.S. Border Patrol has been “overrun” by child immigrants from Central America. In May, 9,000 children crossed the border into Texas, according to the federal Department of Homeland Security. Perry, visiting a detention center overcrowded with Central American children, urged federal leaders to do more to help Texas cope with “a major pending disaster.”

When Barrett was asked if he has been told Central American refugee children will be housed in Vassar, Barrett said “I can’t answer that. No. I haven’t been told they’re coming on this date, or that there are this many (children), or anything of that nature.”

Other city leaders also have been invited to the Tuesday meeting. The Advertiser could not reach Mayor Roger Bacon Sr. for comment.

McCree said the meeting at the Vassar Campus isn’t open to the public.

“We’re two involved stakeholders,” McCree said of the city of Vassar and Wolverine Human Servics. “We wanted to share some information with (city officials) about some of the good things we’re doing on the campus.”

When asked if city leaders and Wolverine officials will discuss housing Central American refugees in Vassar, McCree said “We’ll talk about a lot of things.”

Advertisements are appearing in newspapers stating jobs are open at the Vassar Campus for bilingual applicants speaking English and Spanish, according to McCree.

Pioneer Work and Learn Center, Wolverine’s first Vassar facility, was developed to provide young males with a six-month residential treatment program with vocational work study and outdoor activities, combined with a six-month “Aftercare” program.

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34 Responses to "Is Wolverine Human Services preparing to house Central American refugee children?"

  1. teabagmebaby says:

    It has been one year since the Republican National Committee released a report calling on Republicans to tackle immigration reform and grow its Latino base. But since that time, little progress has been made to win the hearts and votes of Latinos from Capitol Hill Republicans.

    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, appears to have backed away from an earlier pledge to push immigration reform through the House this year. In fact, House Republicans made headlines last week for bringing a bill to the floor aimed at rolling back President Barack Obama’s executive authority to curb deportations. Even RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, a co-author of the GOP autopsy report, admitted the Republican Party is still too fragmented to move forward with one comprehensive plan at this point.

    “There’s general agreement that we need to have serious immigration reform, but I don’t believe there’s general agreement as to what that reform is,” Priebus said during a breakfast with reporters Tuesday.

    [READ: A Republican Alternative to Obamacare Is a Risky Proposition]

    But while Washington is gridlocked, divided over immigrant visas and border control, one Republican governor remains committed to reform, if for no other reason than to help save his state and bring its economy back from the brink.

    Michigan’s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, has presented a vastly more progressive stance on immigration reform than his colleagues inside the beltway. In his January State of the State address, Snyder unveiled an aggressive plan to not only embrace immigrants in Michigan, but to recruit them to revitalize Detroit. Snyder’s plan included an executive action to create the Michigan Office for New Americans, a mechanism to integrate new immigrants into the state. Snyder also announced a visa program that could help attract 50,000 immigrants to his state.

    Snyder has been a strong advocate for Congress to fix the “dumb” immigration reform system for a long time. But ultimately, he says, he cannot wait for Congress to act.

    “People have different styles,” Snyder told U.S. News in a recent interview. “I try to focus in on what the positive solution is to a problem. Don’t worry about blame or credit. Solve the problem.”

    [ALSO: RNC Chairman Says ‘Obamacare Designed to Screw Young People Over’]

    There’s another factor that separates Snyder from his GOP colleagues in the House. Instead of trying to limit Obama’s executive authority on immigration reform, Snyder is asking the president to use it and increase the number of high-skilled worker visas available to Michigan.

    “This is a way for the federal government to help without a financial bailout,” Snyder says. “I hope this can be done through executive action.”

    Alfonso Aguilar, a Republican pro-immigration strategist, says it is no surprise that Snyder is one of the voices leading the GOP on immigration reform. Governors have a record of putting practicality ahead of political posturing, he says.

    “The governors understand the need for immigration reform. Politicians in Washington say they are in touch with the people, but they are in a bubble,” Aguilar says. “The disconnect is that ironically, conservative members in Washington are responding to the anti-immigrant lobby and talking heads rather than listening to the governors who understand the issue better.”

    Snyder’s approach to immigration is no doubt shaped in some part by the politics of his state. Snyder is running for re-election this year in a state Obama won by comfortable margins, twice. However, Snyder is still a rare immigration advocate in his party.

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    • mathius says:

      So, I take it you are a Progressive Dem.
      and you are planning on voting for Snyder?

      Report this comment

      • teabagmebaby says:

        The question comes down to one simple problem facing Michigan legislators. The fact that in November 2008 3,006,820 Michigan voters, 63%, in all 83 counties representing a minority of Michigan’s 10,000,000 citizens, conspired to distribute class one illegal narcotics when supporting the ignorantly written Michigan Medical Marihuana Act of 2008. Is it any wonder business, Republicans, and Democrats alike feel compelled to kill these ridiculous efforts forced on Michigan residents by a minority of their neighbors? The time has come to amend the constitution to forbid publicly enacted legislation and save us from the pot head vote.

        I’m voting for the true conservative in the governors race……………….

        Report this comment

    • walls says:

      We don’t need immigration reform. We just need to have the laws on the books ENFORCED!

      Report this comment

  2. justwondering25 says:

    Teabag, you are back from vacation ….

    Report this comment

  3. Billy Flay says:

    I am so happy Michigan will be able to share in this bounty of “Dreamers. The future of” Michigan!

    Report this comment

  4. nobama1267 says:

    These people are nothing but liberal whores, who would sell their souls for a dollar.

    Report this comment

  5. tweaver1945 says:

    Hmmm. What a wonderful idea and we would use Chicago as the staging point…

    Report this comment

  6. interurbaner says:

    Vasser is a great little town in the south of the thumb. They have so much class they plant and take care of flowers up and down the side of main street. If any Michigan politician – Republican or Dem helps move criminal illegals into this wonderful American town they would be guilty of treason.

    Report this comment

  7. mathius says:

    This is great news, SE MI has been needing even more uneducated, unskilled people for decades. I mean, havnt we as a region been talking for years now how much better our labor market would be if we could only find a few thousand more uneducated and unskilled workers? The Help Wanted signs are in every minimum wage paying business establishment as it is, we certainly could use some help getting some of those signs to come down. Just as ol Jenny Granmole said, “Help is on the Way!” God Bless our Progressive Democrat brothers and sisters for looking out for us American Little Guys. Nothing says help like adding even more poor to the rosters of us Little Guys, where there is an average of 100 or more applications for every single cr app as ssed job offering out there. I mean, its not like MI dosnt STILL have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation still……….
    Madness, absolute madness.

    Report this comment

  8. parker says:

    relocate them to downtown Detroit and give them food stamps and welfare

    Report this comment

  9. tnrebel says:

    I do not live in Mich.. But i suppect that the last thing the state need is thousands of new welfare children.. which will drain millions ever year off the tax payers

    Report this comment

  10. mamwati says:

    Yes, my Black brothers and sisters really want these Hispanics coming in to bottom feed the non existent low paying jobs in this God forsaken state. Just in time for summer when our cities are all powder kegs you are going to dump social and disease ridden waste into our struggling communities? Obama you have betrayed the people who elected you. I am ashamed to be Black.

    Report this comment

  11. happyman says:

    And the best news hasn’t even been mentioned in this article. The administration has indicated that the “children” will not be repatriated, and they have expanded the definition of “children” as individuals to the age of 31! Vassar ya’ll ready for this?

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  12. Scott says:

    Yep, bring in these people from other countries who don’t get immunized. You think we have some bad illnesses now ??? Hold onto your hat, there will be an epidemic of who knows what. And if these states allow these people to come in, who is supporting them? Don’t be a liberal on this issue. It will cost us all. Financially and Heath.

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  13. aelisemc says:

    These children need to be housed somewhere, Vassar is a nice town and it would be nice to see that there was one or two less closed up places in Vassar. Instead of people finding reasons to be negative about it, why not find the positive. I drive through downtown and see more closed up buildings than open.

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  14. WillFightToBeFree says:

    Hey teabagme….. get your liberal hands off our children in the public schools. Stop indoctrinating them using the experimental psychology of John Dewey, Wilhelm Wundt, Edward lee Thorndike and that idiot Cattell who came up with the failed “look-say” reading method that put American children years behind the world in reading ability. John Dewey states” Schools are not for education. Schools are for indoctrination.” Your teachers unions swear by this communist who was asked by Lenin to go teach Russian kids how to be perfect little sacrificial lambs for the whole. These illegals are new test subjects for the left. Anti-individual. Anti-basic skills. Anti-intlligence. Anti-American. Please go be with your friends in Venezuela little communist. Take toilet paper, batteries and a few writing utensils cause their electric grid is run by a socialist mess (just like what democrats did to Detroit. Nice job with all those billions. Liberals destroy anything they touch.)

    Tell you what teabagme. If you want my money for Obamacare come to my front door and try to take it. You will be met with force. All all liberals cowards?

    Report this comment

    • teabagmebaby says:

      LANSING, MI — Michigan has awarded a $90 million contract to the Canadian tech company that built HealthCare.gov despite rollout problems with the federal website and a lower bid from another company.

      CGI Technologies and Solutions of Montreal will earn up to $89.5 million over seven years to build an Enterprise Resource Planning system for the state, replacing an antiquated internal management system used for payroll, contract payments and more.

      Accenture of New York provided the lowest bid at $86.8 million, but “as we looked at the overall best value and best fit for the state, we felt CGI was the best option,” said Kurt Weiss, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

      “With CGI, the solution they are providing is specifically designed for state governments and is really going to work well with what we’re trying to accomplish here in Michigan,” said Weiss. “We felt we’d have problems adapting the Accenture software down the line.”

      CGI initially bid $91.6 million for the contract but later agreed to $2.1 million in price concessions. The contract was approved Tuesday by the State Administrative Board.

      Two other firms, Deloitte and IBM, also bid on the work. All four companies have a presence of some kind in Michigan, but CGI — which has an office in East Lansing — is the only one based in another country.

      The Snyder administration is facing criticism for the contract, which was first reported Monday by the Detroit Free Press.

      “It’s extremely concerning that this administration is awarding a $90 million contract to a Canadian company whose recent track record is, at best, very questionable,” said Bob McCann, a spokesperson for Senate Democrats and Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer. “This could possibly be justified if CGI had submitted the lowest bid for the contract, but we know that wasn’t even the case.

      Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer called the contract “outrageous.”

      “We have Buy American provisions in the state budget for a reason,” Schauer said in a statement. “The idea that Snyder would outsource such large contracts to other countries when there was an American firm that submitted a lower bid is an insult to taxpayers.”

      The Obama administration reportedly cut ties with CGI earlier this year after determining the firm had not been effective enough at fixing the federal health care website it helped build. Accenture, which has also faced criticism at the University of Michigan, was tapped to take over work on HealthCare.gov.

      Asked if the state considered problems with the federal health care website before awarding the contract to CGI, Weiss said that the company has “a stellar record and outstanding reputation when it comes to this solution for state government. That’s what we were looking at, and there was no doubt they could get the job done.”

      The State Administrative Board, which approved the contract last week, includes representatives of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction and director of the Department of Transportation.

      A spokesperson for CGI did not immediately return a call seeking comment for this story but the company celebrated the contract in a press release.

      “CGI has unrivaled experience with projects of this size and scope, having successfully delivered hundreds of government (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems that today manage $700 billion in disbursements and serve more than 93 million citizens nationwide,” said Dave Henderson, Senior Vice President, CGI.

      “As a trusted partner of state and local governments across the country, CGI looks forward to the successful deployment of an effective ERP system for the State of Michigan.”

      Report this comment

    • teabagmebaby says:

      Bwahahahahahaha! WillFightToBeFree

      Report this comment

    • teabagmebaby says:

      Now go kiss Rick Snyder’s, Randy Richardville’s, and Jase B0lger’s collective a..

      Report this comment

  15. Lou Smallwood says:

    What? Why? Send them home.

    Report this comment

  16. Lou Smallwood says:

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Report this comment

  17. Jeb Shrub 16 says:

    Man , reading this stuff makes me sooooo glad I left the ” Thumb” . And you wonder why kids grow up and flee the area ? WillFightToBeFree , it’s time to turn off Faux News and take your meds. Your right all Liberals are cowards , that’s why they all carry guns….oh wait that’s you and your friends. Yes , America waits for the return of the good old days of when Wall Street bankers were stealing our savings and forcing us out of our houses.We solved our problems by fighting unnecessary wars and then rebuilt their infrastructure while neglecting ours.We lost over 3,000 American lives in a tragic attack and then killed over 100,000 innocent Iraqis in less than a week. By removing Saddam Hussein we destabilized the region making Iran the dominate regional power. This destabilization led to The Arab Spring and the current state of affairs. Anything Obamas for , the Republicants are against . This includes the health care plan,so called Obamacare that was originally Republicant Bob Doles answer to Hillary Clinton’s health plan.As soon as Obama was for it ,the Republicants BLACKTRACKED ( the act of changing ones mind based exclusively on the black Presidents being in agreement with you). This was a giveaway to the insurance industry and not what Liberals wanted ,Single Payer. If one follows the money ,you will see that Obama received the most money of ANY Senator from the Insurance lobby. ( Sorry, I’m not a fan of either party) Single Payer could be defined as Socialist , but Obamacare is as far from Socialism as Wall Street is, just ask the companies profiting from 15,000,000 mandatory customers.
    Turn off the T.V. If you want the truth. The Great Ronald Reagan destroyed the Fairness Doctrine , which required the truth be told to the public on the airwaves , with dissenting views when there is disagreement. Faux News & MSNBC wouldn’t exist with the Fairness Doctrine. Read Atlantic Monthly, The Economist or any number of publications with dissenting views , it might make you think for yourself.

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  18. MadDog says:

    Exactly what Michigan needs, Dreamers. Michigan needs poor, uneducated, disease carrying, illegal aliens who have no job skills. Has anyone figured out how these people are going to survive without the American Taxpayers footing the bill?
    They are dreamers all right, dreaming of freeloading in the United States.

    Report this comment

  19. Scott says:

    I love Parkers idea. Please don’t get teabag goin, he’s liable to overdose on what he’s smokin !!!!!

    Report this comment

  20. teabagmebaby says:

    Lighting up some nicely rolled Snyder immigration policy blended with Snyder Medicaid expansion. Tasty stuff!

    Report this comment

  21. dlentz says:

    Oh dear, we must help the ‘refugees’. From what war or persecution are they fleeing for their lives again?

    Report this comment

  22. teabagmebaby says:

    How do these Nicaraguan parents drag these kids away from XBox Live long enough to take the private jet to Homeland? Not like they are fleeing drug gangs responsible for assuring a steady supply of drugs to meet market demands in this country.

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