Several hundred undocumented immigrants will soon be calling a camp and conference center near Waxahachie home. Nearly 500 unaccompanied children will begin arriving at the Lakeview Camp as early as tomorrow. Ellis County is abuzz with the news.
“I had no idea what was going on,” says Tal Sanders. “I got information that there’s refugees coming! I was very worried to begin with. But, the more I’m learning and finding out—that’s not the case at all.”
Rumors, no matter how inaccurate, are difficult to control.
Sander’s daughter, Taya, says her schoolmates won’t stop talking about the news.
“Everyone’s kind of afraid that they’re going to start coming to school with us,” says Taya, “something about Isis?”
“This will become a miniature city for the next 21 days,” said Sheriff Brown at a morning briefing for reporters. “They have fire control, EMS, everything.” The Sheriff has decided to provide 24/7 security for the camp’s perimeter.
“Do I feel that somebody could say ‘Hey, I’m this close to the Metroplex that I could fall out of sight’…yeah, I have that concern. That’s why I want to make sure we have the security for the outer perimeters,” says Sheriff Brown.
The camp is owned and operated by the North Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God Church. Supt. Rick DuBose did not hesitate when the group was approached to offer housing.
“For the most part, these are just kids that have had very difficult lives, coming from very difficult circumstances,” says Supt. DuBose, “and we didn’t feel like there was any way that we could turn them away and not care for them and feed them when we have the beds that are empty, and the food that can be served and it’s our slowest time of year…so we were very available and we were honored to give these kids a place to live for the next three weeks.”
Officials say the children will have had immunizations and will pose no threat to the surrounding community. “What will happen in this 21 days, 40-60% will ultimately be returned to their point of origin, where they came from,” says Supt. DuBose. “Some of the other kids will have family here. They will be allowed to move in with family, somewhere in the states.”
While no local dollars will be spent in the effort, some officials disagree with the situation.
“We didn’t solicit this, we didn’t agree to it, we were given very little foreknowledge that this would happen,” says Paul Perry, Ellis County Commissioner, Precinct 3. “I think this is another example of a failed immigration and border enforcement policy, coming down and affecting local government and the citizens of this county potentially.”
Source: Owens, Robbie, “Immigrant Children Heading to North Texas,” CBS DFW, December 10th, 2015