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Dallas County Not Yet Ready For Child Immigrants

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Dallas County says it won’t meet its goal of accepting unaccompanied immigrant children by the end of the month, as federal teams continue to assess possible sites to house them.

Judge Clay Jenkins said Friday that county and federal officials would work all weekend, but it wouldn’t be enough.

Jenkins has offered three county buildings that could take 2,000 immigrants. The idea is to alleviate pressure on South Texas detention centers that have been overwhelmed.

In a statement, Jenkins said every day spent in an overcrowded border holding cell is “a terrible day for a child.” He said he’s “disappointed for their sake.”

“My focus remains on speeding the process of moving children from detention on the border to compassionate care in Dallas County as soon as possible, a first of its kind, federal transition team has been created and has been working from Dallas since Monday. Progress is made every day and is accelerating. This is an extremely fluid and complex situation but we will get it done,” wrote Jenkins.

More than 57,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended since October crossing into the U.S. Most are from Central America and say they’re fleeing gang violence or poverty.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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