ALEXANDRIA, Va. — One small Virginia town is the target of a racial discrimination complaint from a fair housing group and a shuttered college, the potential beneficiary of a plan to house undocumented minors.
Word broke this summer the federal government — at the original suggestion of Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel and Secretary of Education Anne Holton — was pursuing a contract with the closed St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville to house what could be hundreds of immigrants.
Locals made it clear they had serious concerns, and about 1,000 people showed up at a June 19 town hall meeting in the Southern Virginia town of 1,300 to protest.
The federal government consequently backed down and looked elsewhere to house the teens and younger children.
Now, the private St. Paul’s College — which would have received a much-needed $160,000 a month to house the youth — and the fair-housing group Home Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, are filing a housing discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against the town of Lawrenceville, surrounding Brunswick County and Brunswick County’s elected Sheriff Brian Roberts.