Congressmen: Feds denied us access to refugee kids in GR

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two U.S. congressman from Michigan say federal officials denied them access to visit refugee children taken to Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids.

Republicans Bill Huizenga of Zeeland and Tim Walberg of Tipton said they tried to visit a site, but were turned away by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. The stressed that Bethany Christian Services was not behind the move. 

Bethany Christian Services holds a contract with ORR. About 50 immigrant children were taken to the Grand Rapids facility after being separated from their parents who illegally crossed over the United States-Mexico border.

>>WATCH: Huizenga and Walberg news conference

The foster care program is now working to reunite the families, following President Trump’s executive order allowing detained families to stay together.

The congressman said they were on a “fact-finding” mission when they attempted to visit a Bethany Christian Services site, and wanted to provide transparency to voters about what’s happening in such facilities.

“When we have governmental agencies that aren’t even willing to work with Congress – that’s a concern for us,” Walberg said.

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