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McKINNEY A large crowd gathered at a Collin County Commissioners meeting on Monday; most were heavily in favor of a resolution to block unaccompanied Central American minors to ever be housed in the county.

The resolution is in sharp contrast to actions in Dallas County, where Judge Clay Jenkins is actively preparing to provide temporary shelter for up to 2,000 border kids at a time.

'I am a legal, tax-paying citizen,' said one speaker addressing the commissioners. 'I want my rights protected. I obey the law. I don't think we should ask of any others.'

Commissioner Mark Reid announced his plan last week to ban the housing of unaccompanied minors. That motion was pulled from the agenda Monday to provide more time for consideration.

Nevertheless, the mood of the crowd attending the meeting was that fixing the nation's problems is not a job for local government.

'The reality is, there are five billion people in the world that are in poverty; we can't help them all... there's just no way,' one speaker said. 'Every resource that goes to helping these kids is a resource that goes away from our kids.'

'There's nothing wrong with trying to get a better way of life. There's a lot wrong of stepping in front of someone else to do it,' another speaker said. 'But the fault lies not with the alien immigrants or the children; the fault is ours. If we in our home leave the doors open, sooner or later somebody is gonna step in.'

And while strongly outnumbered, not everyone supports a vote to keep border kids out of Collin County.

'Before I go, I just want to say this one poem that's on the Statue of Liberty: 'Give me your tired. Your poor. Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.' That's all these children want, is to breathe free,' said one speaker. 'I'm here to say I oppose this resolution; I think it's heartless and it's cruel.'

Other communities across Texas are having debates like this. In El Paso on Monday, county commissioners voted against Gov. Rick Perry's decision to send National Guard troops to the border.

If Collin County votes to ban the unaccompanied minors, it will join Kaufman County and two other Texas municipalities where similar bans have already been enacted.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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