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Prince William Not Funding Illegal Immigrant Program for Youth

BRISTOW, Va. — There are unaccompanied illegal immigrant children in Bristow, and Prince William County officials say they’re not paying for them.

Youth for Tomorrow, a development founded by former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs center serving at-risk youth, came under fire this week from conservative bloggers after they learned about the facility’s Unaccompanied Minors Program – a partnership between the center and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides help for children who are in the U.S. illegally.

The bloggers blasted Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart (R, At-large) over the presence of illegal minors, especially after Stewart is once again pushing for information from the feds on the whereabouts of about illegal immigrants who were arrested in Prince William and later turned over to federal immigrations officials.

Stewart on Monday issued a statement in an attempt to quell the chatter.

“The crisis at the border has again reached Prince William County. Without providing the County any notice, the Federal Government is now placing illegal immigrant children at private and perhaps federal facilities in our county. Although no County facilities are being used to house the children, I will ask the Board tomorrow to direct the County Executive to attempt to find out more about the location(s) where these children are being held and whether there is anything that the Board can do to stop it. 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,” Stewart stated.

Stewart and others on the Prince William Board of Supervisors on July 8 voted to file a Freedom of Information Act Request prompting the Federal Government to let the board know the location of the 7,000 illegal immigrants arrested in Prince William County.

Following the passing his resolution on illegal immigration, Stewart was scheduled to appear on national media outlets including the Fox News Channel, explaining why he believes the country needs to adopt a strong immigration policy, and criticizing the president’s approach to the immigrant issue.

No stranger to the immigration issue, Stewart and the board in 2007 passed one of the strictest immigration policies in the nation requiring police to ask for proof of legal presence of anyone suspected on being in the country illegally. The policy was amended a year later, and now law enforcement officials in Prince William and other counties are partnered with U.S. Immigrations and Customs (ICE) officials on the 287 (g) program, where special officers are trained to process the immigration status of arrested individuals and then turn them over to ICE.

Youth for Tomorrow is a private organization that does accept funds from Prince William County, as well as other taxpayer dollars from various local, state, and federal sources. However, none of the money provided by Prince William County taxpayers is funding the Unaccompanied Minors Program.

“Yes, the county does pay money but not in the same way we would a community partner, said Prince William spokeswoman Nikki Brown. “It’s actually money paid for services rendered.”

Those services rendered are when the county sends at-risk children and teenagers to Youth for Tomorrow — it is one of 31 approved vendors – who provide services, such as housing a county minor for treatment purposes. Community partners are identified in the county’s annual budget and rely on the local government for a portion of their funding.

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