Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Va., has reportedly been mentioned by the Department of Health and Human Services as a potential site for housing underage illegal immigrants. According to a Thursday report on Tri-cities News.com, the college has not yet been officially contacted, but was mentioned as a possible site by a DHHS spokesperson in a Richmond Times Dispatch article last week. The influx of hundreds of illegal immigrants to this small town located on the border of Virginia and Tennessee will surely be a controversial issue.
Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Va., which faced a similar end as V.I. College, is currently in discussions with the DHHS to work out housing between 450 and 600 underage illegal immigrants between the ages of 10 and 17, predominantly male. These minors are flooding the United States borders in response to the Obama Administration’s relaxed approach to immigration. Some of the programs for youth amnesty are being misinterpreted by youth in Central America, leaving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the task of housing and caring for the minors.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch quotes Brunswick County Sheriff Brian K. Roberts as being a bit undecided about the situation, although not in opposition.
"I had and have a lot of questions," he said. "There are just so many unknowns. I don't want to be a roadblock, but as a sheriff I have to ask questions."
The sheriff seems to infer what everyone is thinking but afraid to say. What sort of crime problem will be imported into the area around the college where the illegals are housed? The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the majority of the young people are male and over 14 years of age. How would this impact the crime rate in Bristol, Va.?
Virginia Intermont College is located in the direct vicinity of two elementary schools, the city’s middle school and the high school. Will the hundreds of youth overload the already crowded school system? The city’s nicer residential areas are also close by.
V.I. is within walking distance from Downtown Bristol which has invested a tremendous amount of private and public money in creating a tourist mecca for country music. As much as anyone hates to state it, hundreds of illegal immigrants wandering the streets will deter people from coming downtown out of fear, whether justified or not. There are already complaints from shoppers about the large homeless presence that has always been a factor in Downtown Bristol.
While the entire situation is very unfortunate, the problem has definitely been worsened by the Obama Administration’s failure to enforce the borders. Even the most liberal of publications have said as much. The dilemma now exists that we have a humanitarian problem to deal with because of these lax policies. It just seems that Virginia Intermont College, nestled in the very heart of Bristol, is not the right place to do it.