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The Department of Homeland Security will house up to 1,000 Afghan refugees in an compound next to a Loudoun County high school and middle school, and made plans to do so with no communication with local authorities, Loudoun County, Virginia, Sheriff Mike Chapman said.
The sheriff “raised concerns about DHS’ lack of communication, lack of planning, language barriers, a failure to communicate with a myriad of potential stakeholders, and the NCC’s [National Conference Center’s] unfenced proximity to a residential neighborhood and two public schools.” The federal government claims that “many” of the Afghans served the U.S. as translators, but only 30% speak English, Chapman said in a statement.
Chapman wrote that his office “received an unannounced visit by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Protective Service (FPS) in which it learned that approximately 2000 Afghan refugees, per month, were slated to arrive at the Washington Dulles International Airport during a window beginning as early as February 19, 2022, and extending to September 2022. DHS/FPS regional personnel advised the refugees would be transported by bus to the National Conference Center (NCC) where they would stay until their ultimate relocation elsewhere in the United States… DHS/FPS advised that the refugees will be provided cash and cell phones from non-government organizations and be required to remain on the NCC grounds.”
The sheriff asked, “Considering the NCC is located within a largely residential area of Lansdowne and within walking distance of Riverside High School and Belmont Ridge Middle School, what arrangements were made with Loudoun County stakeholders to ensure the area is secure for the community?”
He said that in response, “DHS advised that the FPS would provide 15 officers for security at the NCC. However, the FPS has no law enforcement jurisdiction in Loudoun County and cannot enforce nor investigate any criminal activity on the campus.”
As for the question, “What coordination with other Loudoun County stakeholders had been performed to this point to include Loudoun County Fire and Rescue (for medical emergencies), Loudoun County Public Schools, Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, Social Services, local hospitals, the Adams Center, or other area houses of faith, or the County government at large?” he said the answer was:
“None. DHS stated that no coordination had occurred and that no notifications had been made to the community surrounding the NCC (as of February 15). Additionally, no coordination had been performed either with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Director of Public Safety.”
Chapman said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called him and “apologized for the lack of communication by DHS with the LCSO and other stakeholders but assured Sheriff Chapman that his concerns would be addressed.” He said DHS offered to build a fence and provide security cameras and additional personnel and interpreters.
“As I have a responsibility for the safety and security of Loudoun’s citizens, I want to ensure that our community is aware of the concerns we have raised and the expectations we have from our partners with the federal government. Currently, those expectations have not been met, and we continue to have concerns as to whether the NCC is an appropriate location to support this mission,” Chapman said.
Loudoun County Public Schools notoriously covered up the rape of a ninth grade girl in one of its high schools, with the superintendent telling the public no bathroom rape had occurred; the school system filing reports to the state saying zero sexual assaults had occurred; and the county prosecutor seeking to put the rape victim’s father in jail.
There have been at least several incidents of Afghan refugees committing sexual assaults.
Last month, an Afghan refugee was convicted of sexually abusing a three-year old girl at Quantico Marine Corps Base. Mohammed Tariq, 24, had worked “alongside US troops” in Afghanistan, US News reported. The outlet said he told authorities the conduct was acceptable in his culture.
In New Mexico, a group of Afghan refugees allegedly assaulted a female military service member.
CBS reported that “several” Afghan women and girls said they were forced into marriage, including as “child brides,” so that they could come to the US as spouses of Afghan men.
The governor of Montana called for the Biden administration to stop settling Afghan migrants in the state until vetting concerns were addressed after an evacuee was charged with a rape of a woman in the state.
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