Warner, Turner Tour National Conference Center Upon Arrival of Afghan Evacuees

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Loudoun Supervisor Michael R. Turner (D-Ashburn) today toured the National Conference Center in Lansdowne where 300 Afghan evacuees arrived this week.

The families are expected to stay at the NCC for 30 days while they await resettlement into their permanent homes in the U.S. Warner said he was told about 70% of the asylum seekers have family or friends already in the country.

The tour was closed to the press, but Warner described the environment in the center as “home-like.”

“You see relief and joy that these families are on their way to a new life in America,” he said.

When news broke that the site would be used for Operation Afghan Welcome, the Sheriff’s Office raised concerns over vetting evacuees and ensuring the safety of the neighboring community.

“I think the screening process is appropriate. I think the security is top-notch. I think once again what we are demonstrating here in Loudoun County and in Virginia is this continuing tradition of hospitality. Many of these families put their lives on the line to protect our American servicemembers during the conflict of Afghanistan,” Warner said. He added that the group of evacuees had been vetted by U.S. officials while in both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Turner said he was attending the event on behalf of County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large).

Turner said that he worked on similar operations while he was in the military, particularly during Desert Storm.

“I’m not logistically unfamiliar with the challenges that they face here. I can tell you this is a world-class operation,” Turner said, adding that it was a very well-known group of asylum seekers. 

Warner praised the work of the ADAMS Center, which worked to ensure that evacuees would have familiar foods and comforts of home. ADAMS Board of Trustees Chairman Rizwan Jaka gave a sense of the environment inside the center.

“They have great cultural food. Their chef and their dining team made great Afghan food, kabobs. They have a great dining hall. … They have computer labs, immigration conference rooms to get help with immigration, they have supply stores where people can get for people that need clothing or diapers or formula. … There are so many kids and they’re all just so happy,” Jaka said.

13 thoughts on “Warner, Turner Tour National Conference Center Upon Arrival of Afghan Evacuees

  • 2022-03-11 at 4:42 pm
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    “Warner said he was told about 70% of the asylum seekers have family or friends already in the country.”

    Mark (D- Martha’s Vineyard) uses the phrase “I was told/not told/I personally have no knowledge” all the time. It’s an escape tool. As chair of the Senate Intel Committee, he gave a live interview on the news last night about the war in Europe. He appeared physically uncomfortable, stumbled over his words, and his face flushed twice at questions. It was painfully obvious he was lying.

  • 2022-03-11 at 5:18 pm
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    “The tour was closed to the press.” That’s never a good sign.

    • 2022-03-14 at 11:24 am
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      I would submit that’s a requirement of the contract imposed on the NCC by the government. Our BoS could have requested the NCC and the Federal Government have recurring press conferences and visits but perhaps they did not. It would be nice to see what’s going on inside while still maintain the privacy of the Afghan evacuees. I am sure more than a few are still wanted by the new government in Afghanistan because they supported Coalition forces.

  • 2022-03-11 at 6:23 pm
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    I’m glad Senator Warner & Supervisor Turner made this public appearance. It’s like putting salve on an open wound. Some misdirected souls said harsh things about the Afghan refugees. I suppose they should be forgiven for their ignorance. I just hope everyone heeds the warm words expressed by Senator Warner & Supervisor Turner. Happy Women’s History Month Loudoun!

    • 2022-03-13 at 5:35 pm
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      I wretch when I see Warner , Turner or any democrat talking. Just more lies or nonsense.

  • 2022-03-11 at 8:20 pm
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    Yes, let’s resettle the refugees in the highest income, expensive county in the country. Whose idea was this?

    • 2022-03-14 at 11:41 am
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      It’s just a processing center. Final step before they are resettled to their final destinations.
      Thanks for commenting, though.

  • 2022-03-14 at 9:32 am
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    Where was Sheriff Mike Chapman? He couldn’t be bothered to take a tour of the facility after all the grand standing about security issues? It’s all about politics, not law enforcement, wth this guy. Chapman’s top concern is Chapman. Too busy setting up his golf outings to generate cash for his re-election campaign, I’m guessing.

    • 2022-03-14 at 9:58 am
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      My guess is that Sheriff Chapman was managing his department which is now busier than ever since the Democrats in Richmond “solved” all our crime problems a couple of years ago. He probably spends his days re-apprehending the criminals Biberaj releases on bond. I’m pretty sure Senator Warner’s visit accomplished almost nothing but will be used in his fundraising efforts.

    • 2022-03-14 at 11:19 am
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      Perhaps he wasn’t invited given that Federal Law Enforcement from DHS is executing all law enforcement functions within the confines of the NCC. The contract most likely stipulates that LCSO has no jurisdiction within the NCC because it’s a Federal facility until the mission is complete. Unless a crime is committed outside of the NCC, the LCSO does not have the authority to enter the NCC unless assistance is requested by DHS Federal Law Enforcement personnel. BTW, has anyone see the actual contract with the NCC? It’s probably a very interesting read.

    • 2022-03-15 at 4:50 pm
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      There would be no value added for the Sheriff to be there. He did his job and expressed security concerns about the very short notice DHS provided that the Afghan refugee’s were being placed at Landsdown. The BoS as usual looked at everything with rose colored glasses.

  • 2022-03-14 at 8:59 pm
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    Is it too late to modify the contract? Can the Afghanistan refugees be traded for Ukrainian refugees instead?

  • 2022-03-15 at 6:01 pm
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    For those who haven’t taken the opportunity, as I have, please drive around lower Lansdowne and you will see Mr. Chapman and many of his Deputies sitting watch, patrolling neighborhoods, and protecting children at the adjacent schools. The Federal Government fell very short in many respects by placing this forced situation on Loudoun County and Mr. Chapman. I have sympathy for most and wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of arrivals at NCC would prefer to be back in their native country if circumstances were different. I pray that the deserving arrivals are welcomed and offered a better life, adjust after their horrific ordeals, learn to assimilate and don’t become a criminal justice statistic. I am in polar opposite agreement with the on-going direction of the USA immigration approach, but fruitful, productive, and positive immigrants are better than those who drain the economy.

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