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Dallas County Agrees To Take In About 1,000 Immigrant Children

A child deported from the United State poses for photo in front of a map of Guatemala City at an immigration shelter in Guatemala City on June 19.
Luis Soto

Calling the situation a "humanitarian crisis," County Judge Clay Jenkins said Dallas County is prepared to house more than 1,000 immigrant children.

"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 while speaking at the Texas Democratic Convention on Saturday.

WFAA-TV, which carried his remarks, reports Jenkins said federal authorities have been scouting the north Texas county for possible locations.

As we've reported, the Southwest border has been flooded with unaccompanied minors. So far in fiscal year 2014, Border Patrol have apprehended 52,193 minors — an almost 100 percent increase from fiscal year 2013.

Plans in other cities to find temporary shelter for the children have faced stiff opposition. Earlier this month, for example, federal authorities dropped plans to house the young immigrants in a Virginia college. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported at the time that "more than 1,000 people turned out to angrily denounce" the plans.

Jenkins, meanwhile, said he was working the federal authorities to move the minors from "incarceration on our border to compassionate care in Dallas County."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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