Former college in Lawrenceville may help handle humanitarian cri - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Former college in Lawrenceville may help handle humanitarian crisis


A former Virginia college campus may soon become the new temporary home for undocumented children entering the United States, although the town's sheriff says the plans are currently on hold until the community around the campus has a chance to weigh in.

On June 13, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that it had signed a contract to use the former St. Paul's College campus as a facility to house unaccompanied children "as early as next week," the e-mail from HHS's Emily Barson to Lawrenceville's mayor and town manager said.

That news sent Lawrenceville residents into a frenzy. The sheriff got to work, and now a meeting is set for Thursday between officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security, HHS and Lawrenceville residents to address concerns.

The sheriff said he is most concerned about the public safety aspect and giving town residents the opportunity to weigh in on a decision that impacts them.

On June 2, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum directing federal agencies to work together to respond to the emerging humanitarian crisis as hundreds of unaccompanied alien children have been among people crossing the United States' southwest border.

Opened in 1888, the college set on 185 acres in Lawrenceville closed last year.

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