US rep asks HHS to abandon Va. CentAm shelter

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Local,Virginia

LAWRENCEVILLE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia congressman is asking the secretary of Health and Human Services to abandon a much-criticized plan to bring hundreds of Central American children to a rural region of the state.

The call by Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt followed a meeting in Lawrenceville late Thursday at which federal officials apologized for missteps on the proposed temporary shelter amid a torrent of criticism by local residents.

While representatives of federal agencies said they would heed the wishes of Lawrenceville and Brunswick County, they declined to respond to questions from The Associated Press on whether they would withdraw plan.

Public comment was overwhelmingly opposed to the temporary shelter on the campus of St. Paul's College.

Hurt said he asked HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to honor the will of the people.

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