Fairfax County has rejected the federal government’s proposal to lease space in the county for a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children.
In an Aug. 12 letter to Matthew Baker, Region III director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Fairfax County Supervisor Sharon Bulova said she is extremely concerned about the Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their families when they cross the border into the United States.
The federal General Services Administration had posted a notice earlier this month seeking to lease a facility with up to 110,000 square feet to house up to 440 children in Northern Virginia, beginning next spring.
“Fairfax County wants no part in this heartless practice,” Bulova wrote.
“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 stated. “We urge you in the name of decency and compassion to find other ways to address this crisis and keep families together.”
Noting that the federal government doesn’t indicate that it will provide education or other services for the detained children, the letter states, “Your agency has a duty to provide for these children and should bear any costs for doing so rather than imposing them on local and state taxpayers.”
Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson also rejected the proposed center, stating “the federal government’s current treatment of immigrant families is in direct conflict with our community’s values.”