Thursday, June 19, 2014

Virginia town divided over planned presence of young immigrants

NPR reports today from Lawrenceville, Virginia, about the federal government's plan to house unaccompanied immigrant youth in a facility there that was formerly a private college.  Here's an excerpt from Jennifer Ludden's story:
The first busload was expected as early as Thursday, but a local backlash has put the plan on hold. 
Word spread this week that the detention center was a done deal, and it didn't go over well that most in this town of 1,400 had heard nothing of plans for the shelter.
Ludden quotes Brian Roberts, sheriff of Brunswick County, population 17,434.  He says his main worry is public safety:  
That's my job … and so 500 kids unaccounted for — illegal alien children in my little sleepy town — I just don't think it's the right fit for this community.
Roberts is also also upset about being left out of the loop:
I was just shocked.  The way this process has been handled puts more fear in our eyes, because it's been shoved down our throat.  
Others in the community are more open to the plan, in part because of its economic benefits for the area.  

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