Fairfax County chair joins opposition to proposed shelter for migrant kids

Another prominent Northern Virginia Democrat is speaking out against the Trump administration’s proposal for a facility housing unaccompanied migrant children.

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chair Sharon Bulova decried separation of migrant families in border facilities as a “heartless practice” that Fairfax County “wants no part in.”

“The policy of discouraging border crossing by ripping innocent children from their families is counter to every value we hold dear in Fairfax County, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States of America,” Bulova wrote to HHS regional director Matthew Baker on Monday.

“The U.S. must find effective and human ways to deal with this crisis. You have sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which is grounded in restraint of power and respect for individual rights.”

See the full text of the letter courtesy of The Washington Post.

Bulova’s letter comes after expressions of concern from Alexandria and Prince William County officials over allocating land and impacts on neighborhoods.

On Thursday, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson told the federal government to look elsewhere, telling HHS that the city “has no interest in hosting such a shelter or being part of any ‘exploratory assessment.'”

“Our city values every resident or visitor regardless of their immigration status,” Wilson’s letter said.

“Unfortunately, the Federal Government’s current treatment of immigrant families is in direct conflict with our community’s values. We want no part of this process.”

Read Wilson’s full letter.

A notice issued by the General Services Administration said that the government wants to lease almost 110,000 square feet of space for as long as 15 years in one of four counties — Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun or Prince William.

The shelter would house some 440 children, and would include bedrooms, bathrooms, classrooms and indoor and outdoor recreation areas.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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