Work to begin on sites to house immigrant children - Dallas News |

Work to begin on sites to house immigrant children

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DALLAS - Construction could begin this weekend on three sites selected to house illegal immigrant children in Dallas County.

Judge Clay Jenkins plans to bring 2,000 of the children into Dallas County by the end of the month.

He said a federal team from the Centers for Disease Control inspected all three sites Tuesday morning.

He also said he plans to visit with residents living in the neighborhoods near Hulcey Middle School, Lamar Elementary and the Parkland Hospital building on Butler Street.

"What we're not going to have is these town hall meetings where people on either side of the immigration debate come and scream at one another. We interested in hearing from people in the neighborhoods where the children are going," he said.

Jenkins said the government will pay for the housing and care of the children in Dallas County.

“We’ll have the capacity to have 200 beds, and the beds will turn on an average of 21 to 35 days,” said Jenkins.

A serving migrant children summit held at Park Cities Baptist Church on Tuesday brought together faith leaders to talk about how they and their congregations can help.

“The question for us is, how we as a faith community can welcome those among us who are strangers, and that’s been a biblical call for thousands of years and we live it today,” said Rabbi Asher Knight with Temple Emanuel.

Some who attended the summit have already been working at the crisis epicenter on the border.

“It’s been a revival of compassion as the churches have come together, regardless of denomination or religions, and saying, ‘We have a crisis at hand and we the church need to respond as the church,’ and we're seeing it take place right now in the valley,” said Pastor Mark Gonzales with the Hispanic Action Network.

One former church pastor and his wife are preparing their ranch as one of the potential sites.

Sarah Walker and her husband, Ed, are offering up their sleep away camp and facilities at Sabine Creek Ranch in Rockwall to 12-to-17-year-olds caught in the crisis

“We feel God has blessed us with these facilities, and we need to use it to help people,” said Sarah.

The site has 11 cabins that comfortably sleep up to 32 people.

She says they can take the children for about 120 days, but longer if necessary.

Sarah says federal inspectors liked what they saw: 300 acres of wide open space to play soccer and other games.


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