Sleight of hand. Update to this story.
Weeks after Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said three Dallas County facilities would be used to temporarily shelter 2,000 migrant children at the border, he reversed course at a press conference held Thursday afternoon at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in downtown Dallas.
Said Jenkins, the number of children coming across the border had dropped from 300 a day in June to 150 a day in July, and there are now reports of “bed vacancies” at facilities along the border. The drop in numbers, said Jenkins, has allowed federal officials to reduce the backlog of children needing temporary housing.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services is “reporting increasing bed vacancies at refugee resettlement facilities,” Jenkins said. “Health and Human Services has decided to stand down efforts to create more temporary sites outside military basis.”
But, Jenkins added, “Due to strong community support [in Dallas County], had sites been selected the first choice would have been here.”
Jenkins was surrounded by political and religious leaders, and read from a prepared statement over the din of nearby construction workers.
“In Dallas our shared values direct us to stand up for children,” he said at the beginning of the press conference. “We don’t turn out back on children fleeing death and chaos … All children are precious and made in the image of God, a god that is bigger than the border.”
Said the judge, he was proud of Dallas County residents for doing what other communities around the country wouldn’t: offer temporary shelter to kids who were overcrowded in facilities along the border.
“Leaders can empower compassion and reason or incite fear and anger,” said Jenkins. “Our community changed the conversation about unknown, faceless immigrants … to a humanitarian crisis involving children, like your child and my child, children who need love and reassurance.”
Dallas County, said Jenkins, has become “unexpected outlier in the United States for those who don’t know us, a place where love and compassion overcomes fear and anger.”
Dallas County was looking to house the children in Hulcy Middle School, Grand Prairie ISD’s shuttered Lamar Alternative Education Center and a Parkland Memorial Hospital warehouse near Maple and Inwood. Those facilities were evaluated by federal officials, and Jenkins says no county taxpayer money had been used.
Illegal aliens to be Housed in ‘Suites’ Near San Antonio Via KRGV
Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Friday will open a refurbished detention center three hours north of the Rio Grande Valley.
The Karnes City center will house women and children who entered the country illegally through the Valley.
The 532-bed facility underwent a massive renovation to house women and children. The center housed only adult immigrants in the past.
Immigrants will be at the facility for an average of 23 days.
The feds said the immigrants will be referred to as “residents” and the rooms as “suites.” The suites are furnished with flat-screen television sets and landline telephones. The center has a soccer field covered with artificial turf, ping pong tables and a weight room.
A charter school nearby will provide schooling and access to a library for the immigrant children.
HT Theo Spark