Way More Than 2,000 Migrant Kids Are Coming to Dallas, and Way More Are Already Here

Categories: Immigration

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Office of Rep. Henry Cuellar
Some Dallasites are protesting the arrival of 2,000 unaccompanied Central American kids. They're about to get much angrier.
Local protests have increased in recent weeks against the expected influx of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children, part of an unprecedented surge of kids fleeing poverty and violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. As resources are stretched at the border, at Lackland Air Force base and other shelters, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has proposed, to both criticism and acclaim, that the county house some kids at Hulcy Middle School, Lamar Alternative Education Center, and a Parkland Hospital warehouse.

Not all Dallasites are taking the news well. "We are being invaded. And we cannot afford to take care of these children," said one woman at a recent protest. "For Clay Jenkins to make a decision to invite the illegal immigrants to come to Dallas is completely unacceptable," said another.

Just how many has he invited? According to basically every media report, it's 2,000. But if some North Texans are alarmed at the idea of 2,000 kids, they should probably know: It will likely be many more.

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When Kids Go to Dallas' Immigration Court

Categories: Immigration

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Ammodramus
You're ten years old, you've just made your way across two countries, and you're here to explain your story to a guy you don't know in a language you don't speak. Go.
On any given day, the 10th floor of the Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas is filled with men, women and children waiting to appear before an immigration judge. On certain days, like yesterday, many of them are Central American children, having arrived at the United States border, alone, during the recent so-called "surge" that's sent officials across the country, including in Dallas County, scrambling for a place to temporarily house them.

For a room filled with kids, teenagers, and their families, most were withdrawn and silent. The overhead lights bored into the crowd, as the bilingual secretary addressed them exclusively in Spanish. She arranged the kids and their families in order of age and home country, but just this first step in the court process was complicated and long-winded. Much of that has to do with miscommunication: Some kids didn't know they had to bring their parent or guardian with them to court. Some kids didn't bring the right documents. Some didn't know they could, or should, have brought a lawyer.

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Rep. Michael Burgess Has a Horrible Plan for Dealing With Child Immigrants

Categories: Immigration

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House.gov
Representative Michael Burgess

Governor Rick Perry's sending the National Guard to the border may not be the best idea. Sending soldiers to perform law enforcement functions usually doesn't end well. That being said, at least there's a certain logic to it. Perry perceives the influx of undocumented kids crossing the border as a security issue, so he's throwing a thousand well-armed guardsmen into the mix.

Lewisville U.S. Repreprentative Michael Burgess' ideas about how to handle the same issue involve fewer guns and apparent ignorance of potential consequences. And math.

Burgess has introduced legislation that would slash $15,000 from U.S. aid to El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala or Mexico each time an undocumented child from one of the countries was found to have entered the U.S.

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It's Official: Perry to Send National Guard Troops to Border

Categories: Immigration

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Dan Sorensen
Up to 1,000 National Guard troops will be immediately deployed to the border, in a move seen by many as political and provocative.

Governor Rick Perry today announced his intention to deploy up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border. While Perry cited criminal and cartel violence as his reason, the move comes following the recent surge of Central American children into Texas. Some 60,000 undocumented and unaccompanied kids are expected to come into the United States by the end of the year.

News of Perry's plan broke over the weekend, but today's official announcement still comes as a bold statement to both the Obama administration and immigration reform advocates. Perry stated that he intends for the troops to act as temporary support to Operation Strong Safety, a recent Texas Department of Public Safety initiative to crack down on illegal entry and criminal activity at the border.

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Decision to Shelter Immigrant Kids Brings Out More Protesters on Both Sides

Categories: Immigration

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Emily Mathis
Let's see, that's "illegal immigration aborts a nation," "taxation without representation," "they're called illegals for a reason," some other stuff, lots of manufactured signs and the worst acrostic ever (for Clay Jenkins).
It's been a few weeks since Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins' startling announcement that Dallas would help shelter the influx of Central American kids. Initial reaction was, in general, positive if riddled with questions. Faith groups across the area have been busy raising funds and holding food and clothing drives for the kids' expected arrival. But as more time has passed, the reaction is getting more heated.

Today and tomorrow, conservative groups are meeting at city buildings and Mexican consulates across the country to protest the recent surge in undocumented immigrants. In Dallas, they protested downtown at Jenkins' office Friday. They were met with a group of pro-shelter and pro-immigration reform counter-protesters.

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Why Immigration Judges Say Cornyn and Cueller's Solution to the Surge Won't Work

Categories: Immigration

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Gage Skidmore
Sen. Cornyn wants to expedite unaccompanied kids through the legal system in his "Humane Act."
Republican Senator John Cornyn and Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar this week were heralded, by The Dallas Morning News among others, for their proposal to hire scores of new immigration judges to begin ruling on child migrant cases within a week or so of their arrival, as a show of force to the Central American countries where gang violence has sent thousands of kids streaming across the Texas border.

"They need the strongest possible signal -- planeloads of deportees returning home in defeat -- to understand that this is not a route to success," the News wrote in an editorial on Tuesday.

It would be a strong signal, no doubt. It also, say advocates, lawyers and immigration judges, would be a disaster.

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Where Migrant Kids Will Likely Live in Dallas

Categories: Immigration

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Emily Mathis
Lamar Education Center, one of three sites unexpected to house migrant kids.
With Central American kids streaming across Texas' border and nothing but partisan posturing on the horizon, Dallas County, under the leadership of County Judge Clay Jenkins and in partnership with the feds, is preparing to shelter thousands of unaccompanied minors from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, starting as soon as this summer.

The three proposed shelters to house unaccompanied Central American children are a vacant Parkland Hospital warehouse in the Medical District, Lamar Alternative Education Center in Grand Prairie, and Hulcy Middle School in Oak Cliff. Unfair Park traveled to each location to see for ourselves the future home of some 2,000 migrant kids.

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Welcome to the 'Hood, Kids: Visiting the Grand Prairie School Expected to House Migrants

Categories: Immigration

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Emily Mathis
Lamar Alternative Education Center will soon house unaccompanied Central American kids, provided the district and city first work out logistics with neighborhood residents.
Lamar Alternative Education Center used to be Lamar Elementary. It's part of the Grand Prairie Independent School District, and it officially closed its doors at the end of the 2013 school year because of low attendance. Today, the school sits empty in a working-class neighborhood, and looks the part of a schoolhouse hastily abandoned: A peek through the windows reveals the lights are turned on, but no occupants. Child-sized plastic chairs, some toppled haphazardly, are strewn about the foyer. Crumpled pieces of paper and broken school supplies litter the linoleum tile.

This school, forgotten by most until just a few weeks ago, will likely be the new temporary home to more than a thousand Honduran, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran children. And it could open its doors to these kids within the month.

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County Commissioners Field Community Response to Undocumented Kids Plan

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Dallas County
Clay Jenkins

It's not every Tuesday that you see reporters from three Dallas TV stations live tweeting a Dallas County Commissioners' meeting, but that's just what happened today. Why the hubbub? This meeting was a de facto public hearing on County Judge Clay Jenkins' plan to house up to 2,000 undocumented minors in the coming months.

For the most part, those among the standing-room-only crowd who spoke agreed with Jenkins that providing aid to the kids was a matter of compassion rather than politics.


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Congressman Steve Stockman Gave an Interview That's Insane, Even for Him

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House.gov
Representative Steve Stockman

Houston-area House member Steve Stockman never fails to make Unfair Park grateful it's based in DFW rather than anywhere near the congressman's Bayou City fiefdom. The guy has suggested arming infants, walked out of one State of the Union address and invited Ted Nugent to another. He's also raised funds to cover his defunct Senate campaign's debts by disingenuously promising to try to impeach President Obama -- whom Stockman apparently believes is a secret Muslim.

Unfair Park could go on and on. All that he's done is what makes his interview with World Net Daily earlier this month so amazing. If you view Stockman as some sort performance artist, he's clearly taken his work to the next level. If you don't, and you weren't already scared that this guy represents our state at the federal level, you should be terrified now.

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