The chairman of the Prince William County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors is hoping to put enough pressure on the county's executive to find out how many undocumented immigrant children are living in the county and what kind of financial impact they could have.
Board Supervisor Chairman Corey Stewart said some undocumented children who showed up at the U.S. border have been transferred to Prince William County, and are possibly being housed at "Youth for Tomorrow," a home for troubled teens in Bristow, as well as other locations.
"The facility told us they entered into a federal contract and that they were going to be housing these children," Stewart said. "They wouldn't say much more than that."
The county board agreed Tuesday to urge executive Melissa Peacor to find out where these children are living, how many there are and if the county has any authority in the situation.
He's convinced the children will be a major strain to the community.
“They should be sent back home," Stewart said. "And the reason they should be sent back home is to send the message that if you make that journey to the United States, you’re just going to be sent back home."
Some county residents agree with Stewart, though others do not.
"They are as human as you or I and they probably have the right to live anywhere and especially in this country, the United States of America," Nancy Vancoverden said.
Federal facilities, many of them in Texas, have been swamped by more than 50,000 unaccompanied children who have poured across the border since October, according to NBC News.
"We have a process for people to come to this country, and it's not swimming across it and introducing yourself to federal agents," Prince William County resident David Baker said.
News4 tried contacting the "Youth for Tomorrow" facility, but they did not respond to our calls.
Health and Human Services tell us they do not identify shelters for unaccompanied immigrant minors for security reasons.