Quite a lot of Virginia leaders are talking out in opposition to the Trump administration’s reported plan to open a everlasting detention facility for migrant youngsters within the commonwealth. “I’m extraordinarily involved about your administration’s coverage of separating kids from their households after they cross the border into the U.S.,” Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors chair Sharon Bulova wrote, saying her county “desires no half on this heartless observe.”
The Washington Publish reported final month that the Trump administration was taking a look at Virginia, California, and Florida as doable websites to open everlasting child jails subsequent yr. This plan has been rebuked by Florida legislators, one in all whom tweeted, “we must be closing camps, not opening new ones.” In Virginia, the place the administration desires to jail as many as 440 youngsters, leaders spoke out as nicely.
“Final week, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson despatched the company an analogous letter, whereas Phyllis J. Randall, chair of Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors, stated in a WAMU radio interview that such a facility ‘is just not good for kids,” The Publish continued. “I do know that kids who expertise hardship or a fancy trauma have higher outcomes when they’re positioned in loving houses, hopefully, with relations,” Randall stated. “Please be suggested that the Metropolis of Alexandria, Virginia, has no real interest in internet hosting such a shelter or being a part of any ‘Exploratory Evaluation,’” Wilson stated.
Considerations over the proposed child jail even got here from Trump loyalist Corey Stewart—sure, Corey Stewart—who stated that “the federal authorities can’t simply construct wherever it desires in Prince William County,” although his worries seem like over how officers “would cope with any potential issues with self-discipline or communicable ailments inside the ability,” and never essentially over the truth that youngsters shouldn’t be in detention within the first place.
These everlasting services would presumably exchange so-called “short-term emergency shelters,” just like the one which stretched out for months in Homestead, Florida, and has not too long ago been emptied out. Tons of of these jailed youngsters, nevertheless, have been 17 and in peril of being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement on their 18th birthday. One in every of these younger folks, “Sofia,” spent over 80 days at Homestead, till she was shackled on her birthday. “It made me really feel actually dangerous as a result of it made me really feel like a felony after I hadn’t achieved something,” she stated.
The primary precedence for the federal authorities ought to at all times guarantee migrant kids are linked with relations already right here or vetted sponsors as quickly as doable, Authorized Support Justice Middle authorized director Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg stated, however as a substitute the administration is “investing their assets in basically assuming that the long-term detention of children goes to persist into the long run.”