Undocumented Teens Spend First Night In Ellis County

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ELLIS COUNTY (CBS11) – Undocumented minors are finding temporary shelter in Ellis County.

About 50 teens arrived Friday afternoon, the first of hundreds expected to stay at the Lakeview Camp and Conference Center over the next three weeks.

Organizers say the teens were checked in, assigned rooms and given dinner.

“They have an indoor pool up in there. It’s awesome! It’s a really great place. It’s actually perfect for them. It’s just not perfect for us,” said Scott Bailey, who lives about three miles from the property.

Like some neighbors in the area, he’s nervous.

“We’ve got all this terrorist stuff going on. You don’t know. I mean, we don’t know,” he said.

Penny Story organized a meeting with seven fellow concerned residents to suggest they take turns monitoring the camp from across the street.

She wants to see how many people show up and who they are.

“You won’t be blocking traffic. You’ll be doing nothing but watching,” she said. “If they’re children, then they’re children.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the children were all brought up to date on immunizations before arriving.

It’ll offer them education and recreation, including English classes, soccer, and arts & crafts.

In Dallas, attorney Domingo Garcia says he’s organizing lawyers willing to represent them in immigration court.

“Make sure their legal rights are protected, that they’re in a comfortable place, and even though they are separated from their families that they have a Christmas that teaches them what American values are like,” he said.

He’s worried what will happen if they are sent back home.

“Subject to the predators, the gang members, the criminals that can be there waiting for them,” he said.

More kids are expected to arrive in waves.

The camp says it only expects to house them for 21 days.

The cost is unknown, but organizers say none of it will fall on the local community.

(©2015 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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