Flood of undocumented children crossing border reaches Virginia county


TACKLING THE FEDS: Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, says the undocumented children crossing the border have reached his county.

By Kathryn Watson | Watchdog.org, Virginia Bureau

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — It was only a matter of time before some of the thousands of undocumented children flooding the United States border reached Virginia.

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, R-Woodbridge, confirmed via social media and his office that the Bristow-based nonprofit Youth For Tomorrow is contracting with the feds to house undocumented minors.

Watchdog.org called Youth For Tomorrow, which offered a number that connected to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. When Watchdog.org called the organization again, Youth For Tomorrow said it’s making “no comment” at this time.

Stewart said he has also heard the Army National Guard is housing some undocumented minors. Cotton Puryear, state public affairs officer with the Virginia Army National Guard, was unaware of that.

Stewart, a longtime advocate for his constituents against illegal immigration, said the feds had not contacted the county. Stewart said A Youth for Tomorrow employee informed him about the housing situation.

“The crisis at the border has again reached Prince William County,” Stewart said in his statement. “While it may seem cold-hearted, it is important that these children be sent back home since letting them stay simply entices even more children to attempt the long and dangerous journey to the United States.”

Last week, Stewart and his colleagues voted to use the Freedom of Information Act to request information about the whereabouts of the roughly 7,000 illegal immigrants who have been arrested for a crime in the county since 2008, and been handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors is using part of its regular meeting Tuesday to figure out what to do next.

Federal officials had considered housing immigrant children at St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville several weeks ago, but public outcry made them change their plans.

— Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org, and can be reached on Twitter @kathrynw5.