Community outrage forced the federal government to nix its plans to house illegal immigrant children at a defunct college in rural Virginia, but the school fought back this month with discrimination complaints accusing both the Obama administration and its own neighbors of bigotry.The heart of the case is that Virginia residents simply DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to be angry about their Virginia town being turned into a Third World slum without their consent (and getting in the way of a paycheck for the "nonprofit.")
St. Paul's College and nonprofit Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) of Virginia say local officials in Lawrenceville, Virginia, and surrounding Brunswick County stirred up racial animosity against the children. In a separate complaint, they accused the federal Health and Human Services Department of caving to pressure and canceling a lease, also violating anti-discrimination rules.
"No one should block someone's housing opportunity based on race or national origin," said Helen O'Beirne Hardiman, the fair housing director for HOME. "It's unfair, and it's completely illegal for government officials to step in to a private deal and say we don't want Central American children coming to this community."
She and St. Paul's lodged a complaint with the Housing and Urban Development Department, targeting the local officials, and filed another discrimination complaint with HHS's own Office for Civil Rights, arguing the department broke the law by canceling the deal.
Local officials bristled at the notion they did anything wrong, saying they merely asked for a community meeting so HHS and the college could explain their plans. More than 1,000 people showed up, and sentiment ran strongly against housing the children.
[Scuttled illegal immigrant housing site in Va. accuses HHS, neighbors of discrimination, by Stephen Dinan and S.A. Miller, Washington Times, September 28, 2014]
In the complaints, filed with both HUD and HHS, Mr. Stith and the HOME group point to a chain of events that they said show the local officials reacted to discriminatory impulses from the community, which were captured in some of the more pointed comments at the June 19 town meeting about potential diseases or gang affiliations.Apparently, not only is expressing opposition to foreigners taking over your community (with your tax dollars) illegal, but using "coded language" is as well. And who is qualified to read your mind about what speech is permissible and what isn't? Why, the very same people who get money from the federal government by resettling "refugees" and forcing local communities to deal with the cost.
"They shouted down people who got up and even came close to saying this is a good deal," Mr. Stith said. "It was horrible. I know that if I were an official from these communities, I would not have wanted the world to see how my folks reacted to other people coming in who were different from me."
In their official complaint with HUD, Mr. Stith and the HOME group said some of the statements made by residents were "facially discriminatory" while others were "thinly veiled coded language" showing antipathy based on national origin.
Lawrenceville Mayor William H. "Bill" Herrington said he would reserve comment until the town receives an official notice of the complaint. However, he said that he didn't think conducting a community meeting for residents to learn about the federal government plan was inappropriate.But for how much longer? Even calling the country "America" is offensive to immigrants. It's no surprise that the idea that Americans should even be consulted about the future of their community is considered offensive too.
"We do live in America," he said.