Feds Back Down on dumping illegals in small Virginia town
On June 20 federal immigration officials dropped plans to use Saint Paul’s College campus in Lawrenceville, Virginia as a shelter for 500 illegal minors.
After being shut out from an agreement between St. Paul’s College and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to house the illegals, Lawrenceville residents lined up at a packed public meeting on Thursday to voice their opposition.
Government representatives tried to persuade the crowd of 1,000 people at Brunswick County High School that their plan would bring much needed revenue to the cash-strapped community. But residents weren’t buying it.
Most were outraged that a deal had been made between HHS and St. Paul’s College without consulting them. Representative Robert Hurt (R-5th) said the clandestine contract to transport Unaccompanied Alien Children from Southwest border shelters to St. Paul’s College was an “underhanded” maneuver.
Being kept in the dark didn’t sit well with the people that flooded the school auditorium. Many questioned why the government is in “the orphanage business” and why veterans have to wait longer for health care than illegal immigrants.
Town resident John Zubrod told officials ”Please take your UACs and relocate them to D.C., where you can keep a very close eye on their welfare and keep them out of our backyard.”
Rebecca Archer, who lives on Windsor Street told a reporter, “They’re going to bring a level of violence here that we haven’t seen before.” Archer also said she was told 75 percent of the immigrants would be males in their teens.
Anne Williams, pictured on the front page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was urged to sit down by local law enforcement after voicing her objections.
(Photo from front page of Richmond Times-Dispatch)
There is no doubt the huge turnout of concerned Brunswick County citizens and homemade signs lining the streets with the word “No” helped to take the proposal off the table. After people angrily denounced officials for going behind their back and putting them at risk, Essie Workie, regional administrator for the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services for Children and Families, said the project would be put on hold because “we heard you.”
The hardscrabble and tenacious townspeople of Lawrenceville are now awaiting the official word from HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell that their town is safe.