The handling of Afghan migrants in northern Virginia is getting even more chaotic, with migrants housed in — then abruptly moved from — an abandoned Dick’s Sporting Goods in a shopping mall, and residents of the area potentially exposed to measles.
The Virginia Department of Health said that people who went to Dulles Airport, StoneSprings Hospital, Inova Children’s Hospital in Falls Church, the Dulles Expo Center, or the Crowne Plaza hotel in Herndon, earlier this month could have been exposed.
Five Afghan migrants were diagnosed with measles in northern Virginia as well as in Richmond and at an Army National Guard installation called Fort Pickett in Nottoway County. Most Americans are vaccinated against measles, but it is a “highly contagious illness” that causes a rash to “appear on the face and spreads over the entire body,” the health department said.
After the federal government brought planeloads of Afghan migrants to just outside the nation’s capital, it has fallen to local governments to shoulder some of the burdens, with local officials saying they cannot get information or support from the Biden administration.
Some migrants were being kept at a former Dick’s Sporting Goods at a shopping mall in the Fair Lakes area. The store is attached to a Dave and Busters arcade, an ice cream shop, and a children’s science lab.
On Tuesday afternoon, the former sporting goods store was surrounded by a high chain-link fence, including black fabric obscuring visibility up to about five feet. White trucks were pulling up to a loading dock, according to materials obtained by The Daily Wire.
A woman sitting on a folding chair out front said she worked for a Department of Defense subcontractor and that the migrants had been moved and that the facility was being shut down.
“Today I believe will be the last day that we’re doing it because everything’s getting shut down, so it should go back to whoever just owns the store,” she said.
“I’m not sure if the county, I’m sure they’re working with [DoD], but I’m not sure exactly how they have that situated.”
The Fairfax Times reported September 10 that “while originally it seemed many refugees were just stopping for a layover in Fairfax County before heading to military bases in other states, it seems that more Afghans than originally thought will be staying and integrating into the county.”
Pat Herrity, a member of the county’s board of supervisors, told the paper, “I do not know how many refugees are going to be going into the schools and the county, but I am looking for and have been trying to get that information… The real problem is the lack of information from the federal government about this topic. It is a federal government project.”
Fairfax County has spent at least $300,000 tracking and transporting Afghans to hospitals, and at one hospital Americans were being turned away because it was so crowded with Afghans.
County Executive Bryan Hill told the Washington Post “It’s been very difficult to even get with the federal government on what the next steps are.”
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.