DALLAS -- Dallas County wants to house up to 2,000 of the Central American children detained after crossing the South Texas border, County Judge Clay Jenkins said Saturday.
Jenkins told the state Democratic Party convention Dallas and other counties should step up and help house children while they await transfer to relative or agencies awaiting their court hearings, or back home.
"We can't help them all, but we can help some," Jenkins said. County and federal officials are trying to identify former schools, hospitals or churches with faciiities to house children at federal expense, he said.
Jenkins said state Sen. Royce West is working to help locate facilities and coordinate with authorities. The children would have teachers and activities at the site and would not be enrolled in outside schools, Jenkins said.
"Instead of the agents at the border doing child care, we can handle that here and free them up to do their work," Jenkins said.
"This creates jobs. It doesn't burden the schools. And no local tax dollars will be used."
Federal officials were not immediately available for comment.