Controversy Over Hispanic Center Bus Trip

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- In July, 47 people boarded a bus at the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan heading for the Mexican Consulate in Detroit for Mexican passports.   Because of a mishap, three of them never made it and were deported.

The bus driver, who was hired for the trip and not an employee of the center, took a wrong turn and the bus ended up at the Canadian border.

A majority of those people were released, but three men were jailed and later deported.

The controversy around this incident continues to divide the Hispanic community in West Michigan and Monday, protesters lined the streets outside the Hispanic Center.

“It’s really sad, really, really painful,” Jovita Vicario said after having her husband deported.

Both she and her husband were here illegally.  Jovita says she spent $10,000 in legal fees and now she’s left to raise and support their children alone.  She  and other people at the protest claim the center should pay the families who had members deported during the trip.

There were also supporters of the center, saying it’s the only place in West Michigan they can go for help.

In a statement the Hispanic Center says the incident “continues to be very difficult for all families involved, as well as staff and board.”

They continue on to say they disagree that the center is at fault or that it’s response to the situation has been inadequate.

We’re told each of the three families of the deported men received $100 from the center, but there is still a rift in the community.

The Hispanic Center of Western Michigan says they are open to listening to grievances of those affected by the July 25 bus trip and that board members have set aside time to meet with anyone who wants to address the incident.

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  • kj

    I can imagine you have been in OUR Country for a period of time, you INTENTIONALLY disregarded the rules of OUR Country, and instead of pursuing a legal avenue to obtain a green card, you chose to come in ILLEGALLY. YOU ARE TO BLAME. No one else. I have no empathy whatsoever for Illegals

  • tracy

    Wait This woman stands there on T.V and says her and her husband were here illegally?she is still illegal and has spent over 10,000.00 fighting this?Where i come from 2 plus 2 equal 4 fisrt where did all this money come from?second if it were me standing there actually committing a crime like she is as she is not supposed to be here the police would have already arrested me.It is their own fault they were detained and sent back!! NEWS FLASH THEY WERE HERE ILLEGAL!! IT DOES NOT GIVE YOU A PARDON BECAUSE SOME DRIVER MISSED A TURN WHAT WERE THEY GOING TO DO GO GET ILLEGAL PAPERS?THERE WAS A REASON THAT BUS TOOK A WRONG TURN.IF THEY ARE HERE ILLEGAL THEY ARE COMMITTING A CRIME AND SHOULD BE PUNISHED SENT BACK AND NEVER BE ALLOWED BACK.THE SAD PART THE 3 THEY SPENT MONEY DEPORTING WILL BE RIGHT BACK AGAIN.