DALLAS -- Dallas County Commissioner Clay Jenkins announced Thursday that Dallas County will not be housing any unaccompanied migrant children, as he said it would at the end of June.
Jenkins said the U.S. Department of Health and Human services informed him that none of the thousands of children being temporarily held in the country will be moved to any type of shelter that has not already been established.
'The [Department of Health and Human Services] does not believe that the size of the surge will necessitate continuing on with the process to look for additional [Office of Refugee Resettlement] facilities anywhere in the United States,' Jenkins said.
He said he was told that there were already vacancies in the beds at current shelters.
In recent weeks, Jenkins met with President Barack Obama and local community leaders on immigration and how to deal with the children. He was joined Thursday by numerous community and faith leaders in front of the Cathedral of Guadalupe in downtown Dallas.
Plans were announced this month to house 2,000 unaccompanied immigrant children at three locations in Dallas County. Local officials had toured the sites and were determining what changes needed to be made to the facilities to prepare them to house the children.
Judge Jenkins said Thursday afternoon the flow of unaccompanied immigrant children into the U.S. has slowed and Health and Human Services no longer needs to establish any more temporary facilities.
There are 94 permanent shelters across the country temporarily housing the unaccompanied children. Three locations nationally had already been turned into temporary facilities, including Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Jenkins said Dallas County would have been 'number one' on the list of places to temporarily house children if the government had needed the additional space.
'We don't turn our back on children fleeing death and chaos -- any children,' Jenkins said.
There were protests in recent weeks from some local residents who didn't want the children in their communities. Faith leaders at the announcement Thursday stood together to say they would've welcomed the children anyway.
'I stand here today in solidarity,' Rabbi Asher Knight said. 'I am standing here today because we cannot stand by to see and hear the suffering of these children.'
Even though the county is no longer expected to house the children, Jenkins stressed that charitable help and foster families are still needed for the children who are already here, as well as attorneys to represent the Central American children in immigration hearings.
'To act in any other way would be un-American, it would be un-Christian, and it would be inhumane,' Father Rudy Garcia said.