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Wolverine boss: Kildee “inaccurate,” Vassar seeks Central American immigrants

By Tom Gilchrist
For The Advertiser

VASSAR – A Wolverine Human Services official told The Advertiser tonight that U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee’s office was “inaccurate” with a statement issued Tuesday claiming federal agencies aren’t considering housing undocumented Central American child immigrants in the congressional 5th District, which includes Vassar.

“I wish that they would have called our office before they released their statement, because they were, in fact, inaccurate,” said Derrick McCree, senior vice president at Wolverine, which plans to house up to 120 of the immigrants at a Vassar campus in the coming weeks, according to McCree.

McCree, one of the speakers addressing a standing-room-only crowd of several hundred people at an informational meeting inside the Vassar High School cafeteria tonight, said after the meeting that officials with the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement plan to set Kildee straight on the situation sometime this evening.

“Congressman Kildee’s office called — one of his staffers — asking me ‘Hey, what’s the deal here because our indications say that you guys are not in negotiations (to house immigrants)?’” McCree said. “Well, as I’ve said all along, we are not in negotiations with the federal government. Tonight was the first night I was able to release that our agency we’re contracting with is Heartland Alliance out of Chicago.”

McCree added that Wolverine is “in negotiations to service these children but it’s — again — a subcontract from Heartland Alliance.”

“If you look at Wolverine and the federal government, you’re not going to find anything,” McCree noted. “If you look at Heartland Alliance and the federal government, you’re going to find something.”

Tens of thousands of children have crossed illegally into Texas in recent months from Central American countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Most are males and older than 14, according to federal sources. The federal government reports the youths flee to the U.S. to join family members already here, escape abuse or exploitation, or seek employment or educational opportunities.

McCree said the youths housed in Vassar will be males from ages 12 to 17. Wolverine hasn’t signed a contract with Heartland Alliance yet, but negotiations are proceeding, according to McCree.

“We don’t have any kids coming in yet,” McCree said. “There’s nothing locked in at all. Nothing.”

McCree said Monday that the immigrants could arrive in Vassar within “a couple weeks” if contract negotiations continue without a hitch.

Wolverine’s Vassar location hired 12 workers from the Vassar area, though, within the last week, according to McCree. He has said about 115 jobs will be created if Wolverine lands two contracts to house 120 refugees for less than a month at a time in Vassar.

The statement issued by Kildee, a Flint Township Democrat, said his office has been “in routine contact” with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and that “they have indicated that no facilities are being currently considered to temporarily house unaccompanied children in the 5th District.”

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4 Responses to "Wolverine boss: Kildee “inaccurate,” Vassar seeks Central American immigrants"

  1. MichiganMark says:

    We Will Keep Fighting This!

    Our community can’t afford to take these people. We have American’s that need help!

    Report this comment

  2. rexspurtz says:

    Vassar parents, enjoy thousands of illegal aliens, some of them gang members, as they carry scabies, lice, diseases, drugs, and are not able to pronounce one word of English. By the way, did you find a job yet? You’re supposed to help these illegals get the job you couldn’t get. You’ll have your very own filthy and violent Renaissance Festival, right in your backyard! Love that Hopey Changey yet?

    Report this comment

  3. grannygrunt says:

    I don’t think these boys will be here to take your jobs away. They will be here to wait for their hearing to decide what to do with them. It will create jobs for some local people. I believe the Federal government will be paying the bill, not Vassar. Why wouldn’t you want to collect some of that extra money?

    Report this comment

  4. teabagmebaby says:

    rexspurtz, Found the solution.

    (CNN) — A U.S.-contracted medical charter flight left Cartersville, Georgia, Thursday to evacuate two American charity workers in Liberia infected with Ebola hemorrhagic fever, a source told CNN.
    A CNN crew saw the airplane, a long-range business jet, depart shortly after 5 p.m. ET. The plane matched the description provided by the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
    It was not immediately known when the two Americans — identified as Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol — would arrive in the United States, or where the plane would land.
    At least one of the two will be taken to a hospital at Emory University, near the headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, hospital officials told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
    Brantly and Writebol are described in stable but grave condition, with both reportedly taking a turn for the worse overnight, according to statements released Thursday by the faith-based charity Samaritan’s Purse.
    Experimental serum
    The news follows reports that an experimental serum was administered to Writebol. Only one dose of the serum was available, and Brantly asked that it be given to his colleague, said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse.
    With word of the experimental serum, there were more questions than answers: What is it? Why was there only one dose? And why was it only made available to the American charity workers?
    Samaritan’s Purse said it did not have any additional detail about the serum.
    There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola, which the World Health Organization says is believed to have infected 1,323 people in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria between March and July 27.
    Of those suspected cases, it is believed to have been fatal in at least 729 cases, according to the health organization.
    It is believed to be the worst Ebola outbreak in history, and even in a best-case scenario, it could take three to six months to stem the epidemic in West Africa, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, told reporters on Thursday.
    The outbreak also prompted the CDC to issue a warning against all “nonessential” travel to the countries coping with an outbreak, Frieden said.
    Writebol gets ‘experimental serum’
    Both Brantly, a 33-year-old who last lived in Texas, and Writebol were caring for Ebola patients in Liberia, both affiliated with Samaritan’s Purse.
    Meanwhile, Brantly received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who survived Ebola, the statement said. Brantly had treated the teen, it said.
    It was not immediately clear what doctors hoped the blood transfusion would do for Brantly.
    While blood transfusions have been tried before, Frieden told reporters no one really knows why some people survive and some don’t.
    Meanwhile, Writebol’s husband, David, who is with the same mission as his wife, is near her, said their son Jeremy, who spoke with CNN’s Chris Cuomo from the United States.
    But she is isolated from him, and he has to wear head-to-toe protective clothing similar to a hazmat suit so that he does not contract a disease that starts out with similar symptoms as a strong flu but can end in internal bleeding and death.
    “Mom continues in stable condition but it’s very serious, and she’s still fighting,” her son said. “She’s weak, but she’s working through it.”
    Map: The Ebola outbreakMap: The Ebola outbreak
    Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown said his country could ill afford to lose health care workers like Writebol and Brantly.
    “We join the families in prayers that they can come through this and become … shining examples that, if care is taken, one can come out of this.”
    Another physician in West Africa was not so fortunate; Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan fell ill early last week while overseeing Ebola treatment at a Sierra Leone hospital and died days later.
    Record death toll
    The current death toll that is the highest on record with the World Health Organization and still growing.
    “This epidemic is without precedent,” said Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, a group of medical workers nursing victims through the disease as it runs its course. “It’s absolutely not under control, and the situation keeps worsening.”
    Ebola fears hit close to home

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