ALEXANDRIA, VA – On Friday evening, September 27, 2019, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson tweeted language from an update he received from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) which indicated the Health and Human Services Administration no longer has Alexandria in its sights as a location for unaccompanied minors caught in the immigration quagmire.
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) September 27, 2019
Alexandria had recently joined the chorus of area localities against a formal U.S. government notification to explore spaces for detention centers for unaccompanied alien children from South America. Mayor Justin Wilson responded to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in a letter on Aug. 8 by stating that such detention facilities run contrary to the values of the city.
“Please be advised that the City of Alexandria, Virginia has no interest in hosting such a shelter or being part of any ‘Exploratory Assessment,’” Wilson wrote in the letter. “Our City values every resident or visitor regardless of their immigration status. We have adopted numerous resolutions and policies which outline our commitment to people from all walks of life, and our intent to provide them with the respect, safety and security they are entitled to receive… Unfortunately, the Federal Government’s current treatment of immigrant families is in direct conflict with our community’s values. Accordingly, we want no part of this process.”