DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Time is quickly running out on President Barack Obama’s request for nearly $4 billion to deal with the increase of unaccompanied children at the border. Lawmakers are set to begin a five-week summer break on Thursday. However, officials in North Texas are not waiting for Washington to act.
Supporters of the plan to house thousands of undocumented kids will gather in Dallas on Monday. Various community and religious leaders want to ease fears about the plan. A 13-year-old refugee is among those expected to speak. She will be detailing her trek into the United States, and how her life has changed. That rally begins at noon at Dallas City Hall.
Dallas County is expected to house about 2,000 refugee children being held at the border. The county will not be ready to care for them by the end of the month — that was the self-imposed goal — because the buildings are simply not ready.
Judge Clay Jenkins, who came up with the controversial plan, said that he is disappointed by the delay. Until those children come to North Texas, he explained, they will be kept in overcrowded holding cells. They will also be a drain on U.S. Border Patrol resources.
Organizers on Monday will also be speaking to volunteers who are set to help protect the school buses of kids from protestors when they do arrive in Dallas County.
Meanwhile, a Collin County commissioner is warning that his county will be slammed by “a tsunami of illegal immigrants.”
Commissioner Mark Reid plans on addressing his county’s position on housing the kids. Reid said that he is concerned about the cost that housing these children would have on local taxpayers. But area Hispanic groups are accusing Reid of spreading fear about diseases.
Health leaders have said in the past that the children coming to North Texas are getting health screenings before they leave the holding cells along the border.
A meeting about this issue begins at 1:30 p.m. on Monday. Reid is encouraging Collin County residents to come share their thoughts.
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