Hurt asks HHS to halt plans for juvenile immigrant facility

Robert_HurtCongressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement in response to recent reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is considering using the campus of St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, VA as a detention center for juvenile illegal immigrants who have unlawfully crossed our U.S. border:

“Yesterday morning, I sent a letter to Secretary Burwell asking that her agency immediately stop their plans to locate at least 500 juvenile illegal immigrants on the campus of St. Paul’s College in the small town of Lawrenceville.  I made this request based upon the very serious public safety and public health concerns expressed to me by my constituents and their local elected officials over the course of this weekend.  Like the local elected officials of Lawrenceville and Brunswick County, I was first informed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in an email sent late on the evening of Friday, June 13, that HHS had closed a deal to locate this juvenile detention facility in Lawrenceville.  While I have seen nothing in writing, my office was informed yesterdayafternoon by HHS that they have ‘paused’ the process and that the juveniles will not be transported to Lawrenceville this week.  While this may be a positive development, I have yet to see any evidence that this means that HHS has rescinded its contract with St. Paul’s College or that they are actually halting the implementation of its plan.  In the event that HHS intends to operate in good faith, I would request that they completely halt the implementation of this plan and return to the drawing board. If the HHS plan is indeed good for the people of Lawrenceville and Brunswick County, then they should begin with a transparent and open process that includes the community and the local elected officials every step of the way and ensures compliance with all local, state, and federal laws – including the local zoning ordinances of the town of Lawrenceville.”


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