An ecumenical group of Christians and others are planning to hold a rally in Vassar, Michigan, in the wake of a previous protest and townhall meeting that were held concerning the prospective locating of Central American illegal immigrants at a facility nearby. In an email, Margaret Harner of Michigan United - an advocacy group that is backed by labor unions and various churches - announced today that an "Interfaith Vigil for Vassar and Refugee Children" will be held on July 31 in Vassar at Grace Lutheran Church.
Harner urged Michiganders to attend the vigil. "Join many people of faith for an ecumenical and interfaith gathering," she wrote "to show support for refugee children coming to the United States and the residents of Vassar Michigan. Vassar has been caught in the middle of waves of protests and controversy regarding Wolverine Human Services’ upcoming housing of refugee children."
She promised that the stories of "fleeing" Central American "refugees" will be shared, while church representatives will talk about their response to the current surge of illegal immigrants on the southern border of the United States. Harner said that Vassar clergy will speak, as well as representatives from the Catholic Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, the Unitarian Universalist church.
Spero News covered a July 7 rally outside of Vassar's city council chambers where residents protesting the locating of minors at a facility operated by Wolverine Human Services near Vassar were met by counter-protesters led by Michigan United. On July 9, a townhall meeting was held at the local high school where a representative of Wolverine described to approximately 100 residents the negotiations his firm have had with Heartland Alliance: a Chicago-based non-profit that describes itself as the Midwest's largest anti-poverty organization. Wolverine expects to house cohorts of approximately 120 minors each at its Vassar facility for one month before they are released back to the custody of federal immigration officials.