Brenda Lawrence holds immigration town hall, kids fostered in Michigan

Image 1 of 4

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence is trying to help people better understand the immigration process.  

But the Democrat is also angry about the current situation. She held a town hall forum Monday night and it turns out some immigrant children are being fostered here in Michigan.

Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids says it starting getting those kids back in April and placing them with foster families, saying those children are traumatized. 

"I am a first generation immigrant," said Abril Valdes. “I’m from Mexico City. My mother came here over 30 years ago. And to think that 30 plus years ago she would've crossed the border and I would've been ripped from her arms, devastates me."

Immigrant rights lawyer Abril Valdes shared her story during an immigration town hall meeting in southwest Detroit. It comes as roughly 2,000 children have been separated from their families as the Trump administration cracks down on people entering country illegally.

The so-called 'zero tolerance' policy is under fire as both Democrats and Republicans are calling it inhumane. President Donald Trump is on the defensive.

He tweeted Monday: "It is the Democrats' fault for being weak and ineffective with border security and crime. Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by crime coming from illegal immigration. Change the laws."

"I will not be distracted by tweets that are untruthful," said Rep. Brenda Lawrence.

Lawrence organized Monday's town hall.

"All the fingers are pointed toward the Republican party and this president because this is their no-tolerance ruling," Lawrence said. "This is their policy and they're ripping children out of the arms of their parents."

Lawrence went on to say those children are being sent into foster care systems around the country, some here in Michigan.

"We are taking children in Grand Rapids, who are immigrant children, who are brought here and we are finding foster care homes for them in Grand Rapids, Michigan," she said.

"I read a story just this past week about someone who came here with their daughter and they got separated," said Juan Gonzalez. "And the man committed suicide. we're talking about lives."

Juan Gonzalez is a dreamer or DACA recipient from southwest Detroit. He was panelist at Monday's forum.

"To me, there's blood on this administration's hands to be honest," he said.

The goals at Monday's town hall is to raise awareness, urge voters to press lawmakers to take action and demand comprehensive immigration reform. The stakes, now, seemingly higher than ever.