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Up to 1000 Immigrant Children Head to North Texas

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 their parents.

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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