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Albion community reacts to arrival of unaccompanied minors from southern border

Posted at 2:34 PM, Apr 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-11 14:36:55-04

ALBION, Mich. (WXYZ) — As the crisis at the southern border grows larger, federal officials are now turning to Albion, Michigan to help house some of the more than 20,000 unaccompanied minors now in U.S. custody.

“With open arms we do welcome these young individuals to our community,” said Albion Mayor Victoria Garcia Snyder.

Up to 240 children are expected to stay for roughly a month at Starr Commonwealth, a child family services organization with 350 acres in Albion. Their arrival has become a topic of conversation in town.

“It’s a very touchy subject," said Albion Resident Dylan Yinger. "I'm not opposed to it at all, I think it’s a good idea. May be a safer environment for those kids to be this far north.”

The children are all expected to be 12 or younger. Many in town, see no issue.

“They gotta go somewhere. they’re little kids," said Albion resident Carol Eldridge. "Someones gotta take care of them."

“I love it, I'm so excited to be apart of it," said Heaven Sebastian. "I've been telling everybody about of it.”

While some are excited, not everyone feels the same way.

“A lot of people don't like it, that’s the overall consensus,” Sebastian said.

“I've heard mixed emotions," Eldridge said. "Some are for it, some aren’t. It’s Albion."

No one in Albion anticipated the crisis at the border would spill into their small Midwest town, more than 1500 miles North. Despite that, some say the town is ready to lend a hand.

“I think it’s a good thing, I really do,” Yinger said.