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Dingell, Kildee, and Huizenga visit refugee children in Grand Rapids

Steven Depolo
Grand Rapids

Michigan members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle visited a refugee foster care facility in Grand Rapids today.

Democrats Debbie Dingell and Dan Kildee, along with Republican Bill Huizenga are urging the Trump administration to speed up the process of reuniting families separated at the southern border.

Kildee says the administration never thought about the negatives of this policy.

“This is not who we are as a country, to see children taken from their parents because they are seeking asylum,” Kildee said.

Huizenga introduced bipartisan legislation that aims to reunify the families that were separated. He was denied access to a site for refugee children in West Michigan last week.

The sites in both today’s visit and the one that was supposed to happen last week are run by Bethany Christian Services, but it was the Office of Refugee Resettlement that declined Huizenga.

Dingell says President Trump’s executive order to keep families detained together doesn’t actually help the children.

“Reunifying them with their parents in cages is not the answer here,” Dingell said.

The lawmakers said the children they visited today were all in good care, but none of them would give specifics about the location or ages of the children.

Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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