The community is showing mixed reaction to local businessman Glen Renaud’s plan to welcome potentially hundreds of children to the Erie area. (Full story here).

Some community members say it's a great idea, while others are not as receptive to the plan.

When we first broke the story Tuesday, our Facebook viewers were quick to share their opinions on allowing immigrant children into our city so we took it to the city to see how others feel about this plan.

“The children are alone and don’t have parents so why not help them,” Christine Lavale said.

Migrants have been arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in record numbers this year, and the Biden administration has struggled to house the growing number of children arriving without a parent, which has left the kids stuck in these jail-like border facilities.

While many feel this situation is mortifying, there are mixed reactions about allowing potentially hundreds of unaccompanied children to come here to Erie.

“If there’s anything the Erie community can do to help out with the kids, I am all for it,” David Markiewicz said.

He has a young daughter of his own so this hits him close to home.

“It would hurt me to see if my kid was off somewhere,” he said. “I feel as long as they are being taken care of, as children should be, I don’t really see a problem with it.”

He isn't alone. We spoke to some others who think these children are better off here in Erie, regardless of how far away we are from the US-Mexico border.

“This is a good city to live in and I feel like it’s a better situation than what they were in,” Amber Astemborski said.

“We are used to having immigrants here,” Cionia Dickerson said. “We’re a city that takes the immigrants that come to this country so I think it’s a good thing and I am okay with it and everyone else should be too.”

“If there’s a possibility that other children could be safe and could be taken care of, why not,” Christine Lavale said. “They are human beings just like everybody else.”

Not everyone views the opportunity as positively though. Some feel Erie should worry more about the people on our own streets before opening arms to others.

“We’ve got homeless vets sleeping on park benches,” an Erie resident who wished to remain anonymous said. “Let them go to that place and live. I think it’s time for us to start worrying about ourselves and what’s going on in our own country before we worry about what’s going on in other countries.”

Tracey Battalia thinks bringing immigrant children to Erie is a step in the wrong direction.

“Trump did all the hard work and he took all the slack for everything, and stopped everything,” she said. “I think we are going backwards.”

she would rather see these immigrant children reunite with their families than come here to Erie.

“I feel bad for the children because I mean, people are just dropping their children over the wall, but I feel they should be sent back,” Battalia said