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Federal Government Drops Plan for Child Immigrant Shelter in Northern Virginia

The Heath and Human Services Administration said it's no longer looking for sites in Virginia and other states

The federal government has stopped exploring possible sites in Northern Virginia for a shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children, according to an email released by the mayor of Alexandria.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is no longer assessing vacant properties in Virginia, Georgia, Florida and California for permanent shelters, the email said. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Several officials in Northern Virginia came out against housing a shelter in the area after the General Services Administration posted a pre-solicitation notice about leasing space in the Capital area that could accommodate a facility for 440 children in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun or Prince William county for up to 15 years.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson wrote a letter to HHS officials on Aug. 8 saying, "we want no part of this process."

Wilson posted the agency's response Friday. The mail says instead of properties in Virginia and other states, they will focus on opening new facilities in Texas and Arizona. HHS will also invest in improvements to a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas. 

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