DALLAS — At an "immigration action team" meeting on Sunday afternoon, much of the talk was about the flood of unaccompanied children over the border of Mexico and Texas border.
News 8 has been profiling the growing problem for weeks now. Some estimates are that as many as 52,000 children have crossed illegally into the U.S. in recent months. Most are being housed at temporary detention centers along the border.
"So many of them are coming without parents, because their lives are threatened," said the Rev. Terry McLellan, pastor of Faith United Presbyterian Church in Carrollton.
McLellan and about 70 other people gathered at a meeting of Dallas Area Interfaith on Sunday afternoon. The meeting was intended to discuss the larger immigration problem — specifically wage theft and rest break issues for workers.
But many attendees were also talking about Saturday's surprise announcement that Dallas would soon start housing up 2,000 of unaccompanied immigrant youths in three facilities.
"It's unprecedented. I can't imagine what it's like for a young parent to send their child off on their own," McLellan said.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins made the announcement at the state's Democratic Party Convention.
There weren't a lot of specifics released, but Jenkins said the county has been talking with officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about how and where to best house youngsters.
The shelters could house more than 2,000 children by the end of July. Locations are still to be identified, but they could be former school and hospital buildings.
The first community meeting discussing details is expected to be announced later this week.