Green: Punishing Michigan employers and Vassar workers would make crisis worse

LANSING—Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, offered the following statement regarding the potential use of Vassar facilities for housing illegal immigrants and a recent proposal to punish such facilities by canceling state contracts:

“Our local community continues to be faced with a crisis of failed federal leadership on our borders and the complete lack of transparency from the Obama administration on housing operations.

“From day one, I have been engaged on this issue with the community, our Congressional delegation, the governor and my fellow legislators.

“Punishing Michigan employers, Vassar workers and their families will only make the crisis worse and accomplish one thing: opening up every single bed in Vassar and elsewhere for use by federal agencies.

“The substantial number of open beds at the Vassar facility exists because the Granholm administration reneged on the state’s commitment to utilize such community-based alternatives for juvenile offenders, in favor of state-controlled correctional institutions.

“These alternatives to the lock-and-key approach have proven to be a cost-effective use of taxpayer dollars and very successful in helping youths who have made mistakes. The open beds at the Vassar facility could be used to help Michigan juvenile offenders and to serve our state’s public safety interests.

“Renewing the state’s commitment to use programs like Pioneer Work and Learn would resolve this crisis for the Vassar community while also creating local jobs. That’s a real solution that I am committed to working on with my fellow legislators and the governor and one that they seem receptive to.”