Activists Push Lansing Resolution for Immigrant Children

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Lansing, Mich. (WILX) A local activist group used public comment Monday night to present the Lansing City Council with a resolution that would open the city's doors to immigrant children seeking asylum.

Action of Greater Lansing drafted a resolution and brought it to council members, asking them to adopt it.

While the resolution may not be adopted in its current form, it's clear that a number of council members are in favor of the idea.

"I think I speak for the council when I say we are looking forward to if these children are placed in our community, embracing them and providing the support and the network for them to be nurtured and to thrive," said council vice president Judi Brown Clarke.

Fourth ward council member Jessica Yorko agreed that the council should send a message that Lansing is a welcoming community.

"Many of us come from immigrant families from people that fled their country for one reason or another for a better future in the United States," she said. "I think stating our value as a welcoming city is an important thing for us to do."

Council President A'lynne Boles also seemed to signal her support for the idea Monday, though she scolded Action for taking its resolution to the media first, instead of bringing it to individual council members.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has also said he would welcome children seeking asylum.

"Lansing has a history of opening its doors and opening its arms to refugees from all over the world," Bernero told News 10 last week. "There's no reason we wouldn't continue to do that."

There has been vocal support and opposition on the immigration issue in Lansing, with opposing groups holding rallies next to each other.

"There's been a lot of voices of hatred out there," said Fr. Fred Thelen, co-president of Action of Greater Lansing. "A lot of voices just adamantly against bringing these suffering children into our country here and to welcome them."

A friendly resolution could help change the political climate in the country, Thelen said, calling on the city to put the resolution on the agenda for its next meeting, on Aug. 11.

The city's attorney would have to approve the language of the resolution before it is put on the agenda.

It's not clear if that will happen in time for the next meeting.

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