Editor’s Note: The federal government abusing their power? Noooo! How out of the ordinary.
When Virginia Rep. Rob Wittman discovered that immigrant children were being sent to his district, he demanded during a congressional hearing that “the administration fully divulge exactly where these children are going.”
“There is a total lack of communication here. The taxpayers deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent. What the policy is — not just now, but in the long term? What are we going to do to address these unaccompanied alien children?” Wittman told D.C.-based radio station WMAL on Wednesday.
The congressman finds it “unbelievable that they would just go about and scatter these children across the country without telling anybody what they are doing, how they are doing it and what their long-term plan is.”
In Wittman’s congressional district, Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart was the one to discover the children coming to the area, but it was not the federal government who told him.
It was an official from a Christian non-profit Youth for Tomorrow in Bristow, Va., who gave him the heads up that the federal government had contracted with the organization to house and care for the immigrant children.
Stewart wants to know how many more children the government plans to send his way.
“What really peeves us about this is that the federal government is doing this without informing us,” the Prince William County official told WMAL Radio.
Prince William County, Va. is not alone.
In the neighboring state of Maryland, word had spread last week in Carroll County that the Department of Health and Human Services officials were eyeing Westminster’s former Army Reserve facility as a location to house immigrant children.
Community leaders pushed back on the idea.
Rep. Andy Harris, whose district includes Carroll County, threatened to use his position in Congress to impact the purse strings of HHS if it went forward with the plan.
The congressman released this statement last Friday: “Should HHS attempt to proceed with housing them at this facility, Congressman Harris will use any and all resources at his disposal as a member of the House Appropriations Committee and in particular the subcommittee that oversees the HHS budget to stop this.”
Over the span of one weekend, the mounting pressure led the feds to retreat from the idea of using the facility.
Fox News reporter Ed Henry pressed White House press secretary Josh Earnest on why government officials in each state are “finding out in the last-minute” or not at all about undocumented immigrant children being relocated to their neighborhoods.
“The public does have a right to know what’s happening and that’s why the administration has been trying to communicate clearly with the public about the steps we are taking to address the problem at the border,” Earnest responded at Wednesday’s White House press briefing.