Immigrant children won't be housed in Dallas Co. after all

DALLAS -- Dallas County Commissioner Clay Jenkins announced Thursday that Dallas County will not be housing any unaccompanied migrant children, as he said it would at the end of June.

Jenkins said the U.S. Department of Health and Human services informed him that none of the thousands of children being temporarily held in the country will be moved to any type of shelter that has not already been established.

In recent weeks, Jenkins met with President Barack Obama and local community leaders on immigration and how to deal with the children.

Plans were announced this month to house 2,000 unaccompanied immigrant children at three locations in Dallas County. Local officials had toured the sites and were determining what changes needed to be made to the facilities to prepare them to house the children.

Judge Jenkins said Thursday afternoon the flow of unaccompanied immigrant children into the U.S. has slowed and Health and Human Services no longer needs to establish any more temporary facilities.

Three locations across the country had already been turned into temporary facilities, including Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Jenkins said Dallas County would have been "number one" on the list of places to temporarily house children if the government had needed the additional space.

Even though the county is no longer expected to house the children, Jenkins stressed that charitable help and foster families are still needed for the children who are already here, as well as attorneys to represent the Central American children in immigration hearings.


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