story updated 9:40 p.m.
DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) — As many as 2,000 unaccompanied immigrant children will be brought to Dallas by the end of July.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced Saturday the county will be prepared to offer lodging to undocumented children who are currently in holding facilities in McAllen.
“We cannot turn our back on the children that are already here,” said Jenkins.
The locations of the facilities have not been announced but Jenkins said one will be within the city of Dallas with a second in Dallas County. A third potential location is also being considered. The facilities will be former school and hospital buildings with cafeterias.
Community meetings will be held later this week when the locations are announced.
The children will be in Dallas County for at least 120 days, although; the average stay for a child will be 21 days.
Jenkins says Dallas County tax dollars will not pay to house the children. The federal governments will pick-up all expenses. “It’s not a partisan issue,” he said. “It’s a humanitarian issue. It’s about being compassionate to children.”
Thirty minutes before making the announcement, Jenkins said that he had called Governor Rick Perry to brief him on his plan.
The Governor’s Office told CBS 11 News Saturday evening it’s currently gathering information about Jenkins’ plan.
Dallas County is the first county in Texas, that Jenkins is aware of, that has offered help house some of the children crossing the border alone.
A projected 70,000 children will cross the border alone this year.
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