GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – Rebekka Ramirez watched her three children play in a Grand Prairie park and thought of the tens of thousands of children fleeing their homes in Central America and taking the dangerous journey to the U.S.
“I wouldn’t want to see my kids like that,” said Ramirez
But just down the street from the playground, is one of three potential Dallas County sites, where hundreds of children could be sheltered.
“If we have the space, and we can do it, why not?”
At the vacant Lamar Alternative Education Center in Grand Prairie ISD, various crews evaluated every function of the building Friday to see if it’s suitable to house children.
“We should know by the end of the week or if not, the first of the week after if this is a go,” said Grand Prairie Fire Chief Robert Fite
Chief Fite said if the former school is approved, it won’t be ready to meet the goal of the end of the month.
A sprinkler system would need to be installed to make the building safe.
For years, the federal government has had 100 permanent shelters for unaccompanied children across the country, including in Texas. The difference is those locations are kept secret.
The only exceptions are the three military bases that also house the unaccompanied minors from Central America.
The Grand Prairie location on the other hand is known to the public.
Not everyone in the community has supported the idea of bringing the children to Dallas County.
Opponents including Brian Gordon were among those who spoke before the Grand Prairie ISD school board Thursday night. “Your duties are written to support the children and residents of this city.”
One house in the area has a sign that reads “Secure the Border’ in their front yard which faces the school.
But to Gilbert Ramirez the children are too important to ignore. “The way they have to come over, the chances of dying coming over here, it’s a lot better for us to help them out.”
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