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Westminster No Longer Being Considered for Immigrant Shelter

The Department of Health and Human Services was considering it for unaccompanied children crossing the Mexican border.

The back of the former U.S. Army Reserve facility in Westminster. (Credit: WBAL TV screenshot)
The back of the former U.S. Army Reserve facility in Westminster. (Credit: WBAL TV screenshot)
Days after the federal government was said to be considering a former U.S. Army Reserve complex in Westminster for a shelter to house child immigrants, officials have taken the site off their list of possibilities.

The building at 404 Malcolm Drive, near MD Route 140, was scrapped because it would "not be appropriate" as a shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children since it had been vacant for an extended period of time and was in poor condition, Fox 45 reported.

The federal government is scrambling to find locations for shelters due to the surge of children crossing the Mexican border without adults—90,000 are projected this year, versus 24,000 last year—CBS DC reported. By law, the government has to keep children who are unaccompanied by adults if they come from countries which don't immediately border the U.S., until they can find an adult relative or sponsor where they can be placed.

U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican whose district includes Carroll and who serves on the House subcommittee overseeing the Department of Health and Human Services budget, said he opposed the facility being put in Carroll County and would "use every tool at my disposal" to block funding to support siting the shelter in Westminster.

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners met in emergency session Friday night to discuss the issue of the shelter, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Commissioner Richard Rothschild said "hell no" to the idea, noting that he and his colleagues learned of the proposal through the media and angry citizens.

"...leaving local communities with the responsibility in the end of dealing with this is inappropriate," Rothschild told WFMD. He added: "Until ... [federal officials] engage us in a responsible manner, the answer isn't no—it's hell no."

Fellow Republican Commissioner Haven Shoemaker said that the community would not be prepared for such development.

"Given the unknowns at play here—in terms of illness and connection to gang activity and all the sort of things that could have been involved—it's certainly for the better that this not be located in Westminster," Shoemaker told the Carroll County Times.

In a statement issued Saturday, Harris said that federal officials made "the right decision" to look elsewhere for the shelter.

"My office was just notified that the site in Carroll County won't be used by HHS to house unaccompanied minors who have entered our nation illegally. This is the right decision. Flying them to MD to only turn around and send them back home makes no sense. I'm glad to see that HHS listened to my objections and those of so many local officials," Harris said.

Related: Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Could be Headed for Westminster
James Ray July 14, 2014 at 04:32 PM
You, literally, are a complete imbecile who probably listens to Rush Limbaugh to get your information...DID YOU REALLY JUST SAY THE US IS COLLAPSING LIKE THE USSR!?!?!? Did you graduate from Middle School? Do you Baggers even understand what Socialism is!?!?!? Anyone that is still a Republican in 2014 lost at life completely...I am in awe of you peoples seemingly boundless stupidity...Disgraceful
Remmy July 15, 2014 at 03:40 AM
Well James Ray - No one has asked, but I will. Did you graduate from Middle School? Explain what Socialism is.
Lorna D. Rudnikas July 15, 2014 at 05:24 AM
Remmy...it works well for those who want everything, do nothing, give nothing, like being rewarded for absolutely nothing and are ready, willing and quite able to share name calling...in fact, are quite excellent at it just like back in the school yard days (speaking of education or lack there of).
James Ray July 15, 2014 at 08:45 AM
Hilarious....the nerve of you uneducated, bigoted Teabaggers!! Do you need me to copy and paste the definition of Socialism for you or are you too worthless to look it up yourself? I will not waste a minute of my time trying to educate pathetic, ignorant trash like yourselves who think of people who are not like you as less than you. The ironic thing is most of you on here talking about how everyone is a TAKER and doesn't want to work for anything are probably obese and on disability and simply projecting onto others their own insecurities about being worthless and washed up. Remmy and all the rest of the xenophobic trash on here talking about children like they are rabid animals are nothing but pathetic, racist, bitter scumbags and I nor anyone with half a brain would waste a minute trying to teach her something a 12 year old should know. How is it that in 2014 we still have grown adult people as uninformed and blatantly stupid as Remmy? Can someone please explain to me how in Gods green earth SHE THINKS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS BROUGHT FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE TO THIS COUNTRY?!?!?! She cannot be this dumb someone please help me understand?!?
George Peterson July 15, 2014 at 09:46 AM
Here's one for you from the grapevine. The Catholic charities is alleged to be in contact with the Feds to house illegal children in the Timonimum area!!

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