The people of two North Texas counties have been preparing for the arrival
of as many as 1,000 undocumented children who crossed the border without
Last Thursday (Dec. 10), adult workers were brought in to Ellis County
to help take care of the kids, who began arriving on Friday. The children
were headed to Lakeview Camp and Retreat Center near Waxahachie. They
are expected to stay for 21 days.
Rockwall County was told that it would be receiving up to 300 unaccompanied
children, who will be brought to a temporary camp in the county.
On Thursday morning, Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown spoke at a press
conference; he told the people that he didn’t get much time to prepare
but his department was ready.
After reassuring the citizens of Ellis County that everything was under
control and secure, he said this would become a miniature city over the
next three weeks.
The children are mostly boys between the ages of 12 and 17 from Central
America, KERA News reported.
Rick DuBose, an official at Lakeview camp said the kids have been through
a hard time. He said they didn’t feel as if there was any way they
could turn them away. It’s our slowest time of year, he said. “So,
we’re very available.”
What’s going to happen to the children? Many of them will eventually
return to their home countries, but some will stay with family in the
United States or with sponsors, KERA News reported.
Last week, officials in Ellis and Rockwall counties spoke to federal officials
in conference calls. According to federal officials, there’s been
an increase in unaccompanied children and family members along the U.S.-Mexico
border. In response, they’re having to expand facilities to house
immigrants and meet the demand.
In Rockwall County, 300 children will be staying at Sabine Creek Ranch
for up to three weeks, but the ranch’s website says that it hasn’t
received a “formal request.” Officials say that the Health
and Human Services department will be taking care of the children.
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