Residents of an impoverished Virginia town made it clear how they feel about a proposal to house young illegal immigrants in a closed college in the community: Heck no, they told federal officials.
Department of Health and Human Services representatives met with residents of Lawrenceville to stem the backlash against the government’s plans to relocate the teens, the Washington Times reported.
Officials wanted to use the defunct St. Paul’s College as living quarters for 500 children from Central America – 75 percent of them males aged 15 to 17. Plans call for the youth to be guarded by armed Homeland Security agents. More than 1,000 residents crowded into a high school auditorium for the meeting were having none of it, as seen on the raw video published on Breitbart.
“Right now we have a town. I can go home,” another resident Pam Thomas said. “I can get supper. At 9 o’clock at night, I can come back to my office by myself, go in there and do work, come out at 11:30, get in my car and never worry about being harmed. I can’t do that anymore if y’all come.”
Promises to screen the undocumented youth for medical issues and criminal records and to revitalize the local economy with jobs and revenue failed to placate those in attendance. Instead, residents voiced concerns about disease, their own personal security, ill-equipped emergency services and the misuse of tax dollars in a community that could use its own federal assistance program.
“Please take your UACs (Unaccompanied Alien Children) and relocate them to D.C., where you can keep a very close eye on their welfare and keep them out of our back yard,” resident John Zubrod said, according to the Times.
Essey Workie, regional director for HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, said the plan would not go through without community support, which was confirmed on Friday by an HHS spokesman, who said the proposal was off the table.
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