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Judge Shares Preliminary Plan To Shelter 2,000 Migrant Children

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced three viable locations where about 2,000 immigrant children will seek refuge when they arrive in Dallas. He said Lamar School in Grand Prairie, Hulsey Middle School and a Parkland Hospital building in Dallas are the most viable out of a dozen considered thus far.

“We are looking for buildings with cafeterias, gyms, good security, a place for children to play… but the vetting process isn’t complete, so if the community has any suggestions we welcome them,” said Jenkins during a press conference Thursday at Friendship West Baptist Church.

Jenkins said he hopes to begin to have children in Dallas County safely by the end of July.

“Here in North Texas we don’t turn our backs on children,” said Jenkins, who credited his faith as part of the reason for his decision to push for immigrant children to have a place to stay in North Texas.

But critics of the county’s decision to welcome 7 million people have questioned Jenkins’ true agenda. His response to them? “If this is a political move, then I’m the stupidest person in politics. We are the first to approach the federal government for help on this issue,” he said.

Buildings that will house the children will have a 120 day contract with the county; with possible extensions if needed. Volunteers will have the opportunity to interface with the children. The only time the children are allowed off-campus is if it’s an approved, supervised group activity or for medical reasons.

“This has been and will continue to be a transparent process. We will continue having community meetings… that’s what America is all about – hearing from people who agree and don’t agree,” said Jenkins.

Local taxpayer dollars won’t be used for the shelters, according to Jenkins and the federal government is expected to hire a contractor to operate the facilities.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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