Facilities for Immigrant Children Not Ready

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Facilities for Immigrant Children Not Ready

Dallas — Dallas County braces for the arrival of up to 2,000 unaccompanied migrant children who are currently overwhelming shelters in south Texas. The kids, who illegally crossed into the U.S., were initially expected to arrive in DFW by the end of July; that’s just 10 days away.

Federal inspection teams were back in Dallas on Monday. Last week, the team assessed the now vacant Lamar Alternative Education School in Grand Prairie. On Monday, they inspected the unoccupied Parkland building. But there is still plenty of work that needs to be done before anybody could actually live 24/7 at any of these places.

The Parkland building is more like a warehouse, and there’s no air conditioning.

Even the mayor of Grand Prairie wrote a letter to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, asking about the logistics of housing hundreds of kids in a place with no fire sprinkler system, and he raised questions about the condition of the showers and restrooms. Not to mention the school is located on a narrow one way street, and only has 20-parking spaces.

“They have been out over the past weekend trying to determine what would need to be done inside the facility,” Grand Prairie ISD spokesman Sam Buchmeyer said.

In a standing room only meeting last week, concerned residents came out in force to voice their opinions on both sides of the issue. Yet, nothing is set in stone at this stage in the process.

First, the feds have to give the green light the school as a location.

“I think, ultimately, what they want to do is put a dollar figure on that to determine whether or not it would be viable,” Buchmeyer explained. “It may be later this week from what I`m hearing, and they will tell us yea or nay whether or not they want to move forward.”

The the school board has to vote — and that could take up to three weeks.

Over at Hulcy Middle School, the third possible location, no visible activity could be detected.

“They`re not using the school; it`s shut down,” neighbor Pedro Serrano said. “Might as well use it for something, and might as well be something good.”

So, when could these places be up and running? That’s anyone’s guess. But we’re guessing it won’t be in 10 days.