Residents in Vassar, Michigan, gathered to protest the housing of undocumented immigrants in their town, citing germs and the rule of law.
Wolverine Health Services has a plan to house up to 120 male teens, ages 12 to 17, at the local Pioneer Work and Learn Center for two- to four-week stays.
The Vassar Concerned Citizens Committee organized a town meeting to discuss the plans. Opponents arrived with “Don’t Tread On Me” flags and “Impeach Obama” signs.
"Politicians kiss a baby for a vote, Obama uses kids to ignore our laws,” read a sign carried by demonstrator Mark Jaruzel.
"We need to make sure our laws are being enforced consistently," Jaruzel told MLive. "We're law-abiding citizens who want to do the right thing."
"I support a minefield along the border," Terry Mocny, a Vassar resident and Marine Corps veteran, said.
Instead of housing immigrant children at Pioneer, Mocny told MLive they should be sent to the closed Standish Maximum Correctional Facility where they can be contained.
A Clinton Country resident, Shannon Toney, travelled 90 miles to speak at the gathering. Toney says money should be spent on needy Michigan children, not undocumented immigrants.
"How many kids here go to bed at night wishing for a baloney sandwich?" Toney asked.
Kingston resident Tom Ratcliffe walked out of the meeting because he said he's “allergic to bullshit.”
Ratcliffe claims germs is a major cause for concern. He had a surgical mask around his neck and he says it will be the norm once immigrants come to Vassar.
"I fear within two years of letting these immigrants in, these masks will become standard," he said, comparing the masks to seatbelts.
Lifelong Vassar resident Dan Grimshaw spoke at the meeting and maintains that it’s not a political issue.
"This is a Christian issue,” Grimshaw said. “It's about responding with help, giving and doing our part, and I think most people would view it that way. We have to ask ourselves, are we going to be the good Samaritans?"
"We'll do anything in our power to help children,” Derrick McCree, Wolverine Human Services senior vice president, told the crowd. “I understand it's controversial, and many people might not agree with that. We can't make everyone happy."
When McCree took the podium, one man shouted: "We are under military attack. You can't tell me to be quiet.”
He was escorted out by police.
After the meeting, people gathered outside chanting “God bless America” and "We don't want these illegal immigrants here."
Image Credit: Jonathan McIntosh