DALLAS — It’s a big issue that requires bold action. As state lawmakers try to figure out what to do with tens-of-thousands of undocumented minors flooding facilities in south Texas, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has opened North Texas’ doors to minors.
At the Texas Democratic Convention Saturday, Jenkins announced Dallas County would provide two facilities to house and care for up to 2,000 immigrant children. The federal government will foot the bill.
“If not Dallas, then who is gonna do it?” Jenkins asked. “As a parent and as a director of Homeland Security for Dallas County, I want to do everything I can to help children have dignity and get over the fear and loneliness of being trapped on the border.”
Jenkins insists this move is not providing amnesty to the children.
“I expect we will hear from people who are not supportive,” Jenkins explained. “But, what I would say to them is this is not taking a position on the immigration issue; this is providing compassionate care to scared children who are already here in America.”
The location of the facilities has not yet been disclosed, but Jenkins said the children will remain there until their relatives can be tracked down. That process can take up to 21 days.
“I think it’s a good idea because the kids have no place to go right now,” Democratic delegate Claudia Batts said.
“As long as they are housed in one area and can’t venture off I think it’s wonderful.”
There probably isn’t a perfect solution to this daunting issue, but Jenkins said treating them well while they’re here might be a good place to start.