Northern Virginia officials have been saying they don’t want shelters for unaccompanied migrant children in their jurisdictions, and now D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says she doesn’t either. Bowser said the city has “no intention” of letting the federal government or its contractors open a permanent shelter for immigrant children in the District.
Fairfax County Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova (D) said in a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that the county wants no part of the “heartless practice” of separating children from their parents. “I am extremely concerned about your administration’s policy of separating children from their families,” said Bulova. “Fairfax County wants no part in this heartless practice.” Officials in Loudoun County and Alexandria have also expressed concern about the proposal.
The General Services Administration (GSA) has said it is looking to lease space in Northern Virginia where it could house about 440 children who are in the country illegally. The Trump administration is also looking for space in Southern California and central Florida. A Washington Post report today says that a federal contractor, Dynamic Service Solutions, has been advertising for staff members to work with “unaccompanied alien” children in the District.
The facilities the feds are eyeing would each house as many as 242 children, according to those familiar with the plans. Several city officials said they welcome refugee children but oppose housing them in large shelters, which are seen as dangerous and unsanitary.