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.
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.”