Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins used his speaking time at today's Texas Democratic Convention to rally citizens around a "humanitarian crisis" affecting the Texas-Mexico border. Officials are preparing two shelters in Dallas County for more than 2,000 unaccompanied immigrant children, currently being held in various holding facilities, local affiliate WFAA-TV reports.
"I believe that every child is precious, and that regardless of your stance on immigration or the causes for this human tragedy, we cannot turn our back on the children that are already here," Jenkins said.
Federal authorities trying to place the minors in other Texas cities have met stiff opposition, but the flow of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the border is only increasing. So far in 2014, the U.S. border patrol has apprehended more than 52,000 children. The minors to be placed in the Dallas facilities will not be allowed to leave while they await immigration court proceedings, and Jenkins said federal authorities will provide security both in that regard and for the children.
For his part, Texas Gov. Rick Perry added more than $1 million to fund a "surge" in border control earlier this month.
"This isn't a Democrat problem; this isn't a Republican problem," Perry noted. "This is an American problem."