Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has released a statement describing the relocation of thousands of Afghan “refugees” by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Virginia. The Center is walking distance from two local schools.
Drawing parallels with former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s disastrous open borders policies enacted during Europe’s 2015 migrant crisis, the statement lays out a series of concerning policies which have scarcely been approved by local stakeholders.
LCSO received “an unannounced visit” by DHS Federal Protective Services (FPS), whose officers informed the Sheriff’s Office that roughly 2,000 Afghan “refugees” per month were “slated to arrive at the Washington Dulles International Airport” starting as soon as February 19th – this coming Friday.
The migrants will be shepherded in from February through September 2022, with DHS informing Sheriffs that “regional personnel” would then transport the refugees to the National Conference Center (NCC), where they would stay until being potentially relocated “elsewhere in the United States.”
DHS FPS “estimated that no more than 1000 refugees per month” would remain at the Conference Center “at any given time.”
A majority of the migrants will enter the United States through Qatar, and are set to be provided cash and cell phones from US-based non-government organizations (NGOs). The so-called refugees would not be allowed to leave the National Conference Center grounds, though there is little in the way of established security to guarantee such claims.
LCSO reportedly felt the information provided by DHS FPS was “vague,” leading local Sheriff Chapman to raise the issue at a committee hearing in Washington DC the following day.
The “follow-up conference call with a senior member of FEMA occurred the following day where he raised concerns about DHS’ lack of communication, lack of planning, language barriers, a failure to communicate with a myriad of potential stakeholders,” as well as the fact that the National Conference Center is unfenced and in a residential neighborhood containing at least two public schools.
DHS has significant difficulty in addressing any of Sheriff Chapman’s concerns, the answers of which were posted to Facebook:
• What level of vetting has been conducted to ensure refugees entering Loudoun County had aided the United States and were not a threat to the US or our local community?
DHS Response – Refugees had been carefully vetted and many served as translators. However, when asked how if in fact they served as translators when only 30% of the refugees spoke English, DHS responded that many of the incoming refugees were family members of the translators.
• 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?
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.
• When pressed further about safety issues, DHS stated that the NCC would be designated a federal facility. What would that mean?
Basically nothing. Regardless of that designation, any potential criminal activity or domestic issues that might occur on the NCC campus would not fall under federal code but under state and local law, therefore limiting FPS’ ability to intervene, assist, or investigate these matters.
• What communications had been done to prepare area residents who may be impacted by this?
• 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?
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.
• What federal financial assistance would be proposed to help with the added responsibilities to stakeholders?
DHS proposed grant funding. Unfortunately, any grant funding would likely be available well after the projected September exit date of the refugees.
On February 8, Sheriff Chapman received a phonecall from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorka, who allegedly apologized for the lack of communication, but assured the Sheriff that his concerns would be addressed.
Sheriff Chapman and his command staff then met with DHS FPS, US Secret Service representatives, and FEMA, where he demanded that DHS draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that guaranteed “roles and expectations” of each stakeholder group(s) are clearly outlined and agreed upon, as well as guarantees on the length of stay of refugees in the National Conference Center.
DHS only offered to provide security cameras, fencing, and some extra FPS personnel and interpreters.
No MOU was produced as of February 17.
“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,” Sheriff Chapman said per the Facebook post.
“We will continue to keep our community informed as this process continues. If the resettlement proceeds, we will work with the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and all stakeholders to ensure that appropriate resources are obtained for the refugees’ successful transition into the United States.” he stated.
Safety concerns over the potentially 16,000 refugees entering the unsecured NCC grounds is not unfounded. Police in the UK covered up the bust of an extensive refugee rape gang in 2020, almost all of whom came from Middle Eastern and South Asian states. In the US, an Afghan migrant has already been convicted of sexually abusing a 3-year-old in Virginia.