LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

FORT WORTH For the second consecutive day, protesters on both sides of the immigration debate took their messages to overpasses across North Texas.

The group Overpasses for America had planned to protest amnesty for illegal immigration; when news of the unaccompanied minors broke, opponents stages a counter-protest of their own.

'I think that our government, South America and Mexico are using these children as pawns, and that angers me so much,' said Heidi Smith, an organizer with Overpasses for America.

Roughly a half-mile down Interstate 35W, another group held a similar event with the opposite message.

'The heart of Texas welcomes children,' said event organizer Maria Robles. 'We are not trying to use this humanitarian crisis for any political means, other than to support these children and to make sure that they are safe.'

Three weeks ago, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced that the county would provide shelter for 2,000 minors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and its contractors are now working to turn three county sites into temporary shelters.

Jenkins says a contractor and a federal team are working in Dallas on a scope of work plan they will submit to the department of Health and Human Services for review.

Some who oppose the humanitarian move say the work is misguided, and that resources should be focused domestically.

'We have kids that are only eating at school; we have kids that are homeless. What about these children?' Smith asked. 'These people are watching us take care of other countries while we are turning our backs on them.'

Their voices come from opposite overpasses, their messages are different, but both groups say their motivation is the same.

'I just want to make sure that our community sees both sides of the story, and that they take time to evaluate the situations and let the heart be the judge,' Robles said.

E-mail srobertson@wfaa.com

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/border-crisis/2014/08/21/14243120/