NVJDC’s contract, which ends in September, is with the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Trump administration has been engulfed in controversy since it implemented a “zero tolerance policy” in April that has resulted in the separation of more than 2,300 migrant children from their parents. Following an international outcry, President Trump announced Wednesday that he would reverse the family separation policy.
NVJDC wrote in a news release it has never housed any children separated from their parents, but the Trump administration had begun to place such minors in the same placement program as children who arrive at the border alone.
Alfred O. Taylor, an NVJDC board member, said it was in the “best interest” of the commission to not renew the contract, which he said was “in the millions.”
Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg (D) applauded the move Wednesday. The facility also houses juveniles from Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church.
“I have expressed strong concerns about this contract,” Silberberg said. “It is immoral and inhumane that some 2,300 children were separated from their parents, causing trauma to them and their families. We should be and must be a far better country than that.”
Likewise, the move was greeted positively by advocates for immigrants.
“It’s great that they are no longer going to be in the business of renting beds to a federal government that is separating children from parents,” said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, the legal director for the Legal Aid Justice Center.