Community concerned about migrant workers coming legally to work at local greenhouse

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COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. --  Wenke Greenhouses in Comstock Township says it needs summer help for the 2019 season and plans to use workers as part of H-2A program, a temporary agricultural program that allows people from other countries to come to the U.S. to legally work in the agricultural industries.

“We’re very much struggling to find people to come to work, with the seasonal nature of what we do,” said Lisa Ambrosio, owner of Wenke Greenhouses.

34 migrant workers will arrive in January, and Wenke plans to house them in the rental homes near Wenke offices on 30th Street in Comstock Township. Currently, there are no rental ordinances in  the township, so it's entirely up to the landowner who lives on their property.

“Just like any house that you could rent out to somebody, the house is already there. There’s no ordinance against leasing it to whoever you want,” Ambrosio said.

Some neighbors who live near the rental homes say they wish the had been notified by Wenke of their plans.

They also say they have concerns about the workers who are coming to the area. “I’m concerned about our property value out here. I don’t think we need anything like this,” Comstock Township resident Donna Standish said. “They’re all men, so it’s not families. Before, there were families in there, and I still had trouble with them.”

Others spoke at the planning commission meeting Monday night, saying they feel unsafe with the workers living in their neighborhood.

“I don’t care where these people come from,” said resident Julia Daniel. "These people are coming to work, and I understand that there’s a need for workers, but not on my road, not in my community, not where my kids live, not where my kids play."

But Wenke Greenhouses says the workers are nothing to worry about.

“The people that are coming will be vetted. They will have gone through background checks. Everything they are doing here will be very much under scrutiny,” Ambrosio said. "There’s a lot of people that are concerned with what’s happening, and we are, too. We’re very much wanting to make sure that we work with the Comstock community and do the right thing."

Wenke Greenhouses has said that they would like to build additional housing for migrant workers, but they will need to have township approval before they do so.

 

 

 

 

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23 comments

  • J.B.

    I do not know what they are worried about….
    The residents in that community will soon have the best heroin and meth in town and your kids and whole family will get a full dose of cultural diversity by immersion…
    I mean really….Who doesn’t want to know what its like to live in Juarez,Venezuela or maybe even grand old Somalia?
    Now you and your friends and family will get to know first hand that very exciting experience in your own backyard!
    Don’t worry “The people that are coming will be vetted. They will have gone through background checks.” Ambrosio said.
    You know..at the border…
    what? do you honestly think we are just letting in any run of the mill 3rd world criminals into this country?
    Balderdash…just how stupid do you think we are?………………………..

      • J.B.

        Sure have…
        Now i have 2 of these “camps” within 2 miles of my home….
        about 80 -100+ fine individuals.living about 10-15 people per 3 bedroom trailer..
        They sure know how to clean up your neighborhood…
        Anything valuable not welded to the ground around your home? don’t worry it will be gone over night.
        Always wanted those nice burgler bars on your windows but never had a reason? problem solved..you will now.
        Have young children living a sheltered life away from sexual advances by men 3 times their age? dont worry..thats over.
        Low crime? no drug problems? want loud music/drunks and yards decorated with beer cans and trash? this is your deal!
        Judgmental? lol…i wish….just enjoying MY new neighbors and honestly telling you what happened in my neighborhood.
        Have fun.

    • Shabadoo Simmons

      “just how stupid do you think we are?”

      I think you’re pretty stupid. I base this opinion on your comment. Have a good day!

  • Unslaved

    Migrants picking crops are scary but most people have no problem having actual murderers in their community as long as they wear a badge. Priorities…

  • Tim

    Migrant workers are much safer to have around then the homeless. The majority of homeless are sex offenders, ex-cons, and repeat offenders. I’ll take workers any day.

  • Mandy

    “We’re very much struggling to find people to come to work, with the seasonal nature of what we do,” = mexicans will work for less.
    “I’m concerned about our property value out here. I don’t think we need anything like this,” = we don’t want Mexicans living here.
    “The people that are coming will be vetted. They will have gone through background checks. Everything they are doing here will be very much under scrutiny = oh it’s not those kind of Mexicans these are the good ones.
    If you read ANYTHING DIFFERENT you’re also in self denial of your racism.

  • Frank Dolecki

    “We’re very much struggling to find people to come to work, with the seasonal nature of what we do,” said Lisa Ambrosio, owner of Wenke Greenhouses.

    They can’t find enough college kids to do the job?

  • Tim

    Too bad we can’t do a student exchange. Our country is becoming overpopulated with worthless, dirt bag, lazy, born and raised Americans, why can’t we swap them out for some hard working Mexicans? Let them live in a country that does not hand feed them, or change their diapers, every time they sit on a street corner crying. It would be a great learning experience.

  • mel b

    JB is clearly an idiot…..So, let me get this right – basically a migrant worker somehow equals pedophile/drug dealer/value destroyer, etc? Because I’m pretty sure the same could be said of anyone at any time regardless of race, sex, income status, ethnicity or whatever. These kind of assumptions are what is causing the real problem. Maybe if you have something against these people, then YOU can find “appropriate” employees for this job that nobody wants. I welcome these people, because I’m a decent American w/ integrity and values – and that is true whether I live in Comstock Park or not. Get a clue morons. Do some f’ing research…..Peace

      • Dixie whistler

        Not to worry Bobbie Sue, there are many of them on our social programs, why do you suppose the Kalamazoo COUNTY COMMISSIONERS VOTED FOR COUNTY IDS? (NOT STATE BUT COUNTY! FOR ENROLLMENT IN OUR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, MEDICAL, AND FOOD PROGRAMS AND A HOST OF OTHER WELFARE PROGRAMS)., KALAMAZOO IS A FULL BLOWN SANCTUARY CITY, AND THIS IS THE PRODUCT OF THE DEMS.CALIFORNIA, BALTIMORE, CHICAGO, HERE WE COME.

  • BETH

    This has been going on for a long time – its because our children are toooo lazy to work farms. no video games to play – its called physical labor… getting hands dirty…. sad but true… Who do you think picks our crops…??

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    I see nothing but racism in these comments. I grew up in a migrant town in Indiana and we had no issues with the migrants but we did have issues with the locals. You will always have bad apples in large groups of people.

  • P.A

    Wow some of you are just ridiculous. These people are coming here to work LEGALLY, first you have people complaining about illegals this illegals that, theyre taking jobs, theyre all bad people and now that these migrant workers are actually WORKING LEGALLY and have been through the immigration process its still a problem. Who understands ya. Stop complaining so much about immigrants and find a hobby or something better to do with your lives than just being racists.

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