WASHINGTON — Locations in both Maryland and Virginia are on the table as the federal government searches for places to temporarily house thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America who have crossed illegally into the United States.
The White House has asked Congress for $3.7 billion in funding to help deal with the immigration crisis.
Youth for Tomorrow, a nonprofit group in Virginia, has agreed to house some of the children at its facility in Bristow.
Prince William County leaders are upset, claiming the federal Department of Health and Human Services never told them children were being housed at a local shelter.
“We’re just disappointed frankly that the federal government didn’t let us know what they were doing,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart in an interview with WTOP Tuesday morning.
Stewart wants the county executive to investigate the issue further.
“We’re going to direct the county staff to find out just how many kids are being held in Prince William County,” he says.
“We’re not going to accept children if we don’t know what the long term plan is.”
Stewart also pointed to health concerns, saying many of the children reportedly have tested positive for various illnesses and diseases.
Meanwhile, in Maryland, a strong negative reaction by Carroll County officials fended off a federal effort to use a site in Westminster for housing, according to The Washington Post.
A similar situation played out last month in the small Virginia town of Lawrenceville. Federal officials scrapped plans to set up a housing shelter after an angry outcry.