<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - ]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcdfw.com/feature/border-crisis http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:08:31 -0500 Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:08:31 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Community Leaders Weigh-In Perry's Border Plan]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:41:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/219*120/texas-border-sign.jpg National Guard troops will soon patrol the border for illegal immigrants as part of Gov. Rick Perry's plan to stop the influx of unaccompanied children, and the plan is stirring plenty of debate.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Perry's Border Plan Stirs Debate]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:42:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Immigration+children.jpg

National Guard troops will soon patrol the border for illegal immigrants as part of Gov. Rick Perry's plan to stop the influx of unaccompanied children, and the plan is stirring plenty of debate.

Many of those who cross the border near McAllen are being taken to a Catholic Charities shelter, where they are given food, medical attention and showers while they wait to secure the money for a bus ticket to head toward relatives and await their detention hearing.

The welcome for National Guard troops is not as warm, however, if you ask local leaders, who call Perry's announcement to send troops to the border unnecessary.

"If this is his definition of securing the border, and that's how he proposes to address the issue of undocumented migrants from Central America, then it's not a practical solution," said Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia. "There is no crisis. There is no public health crisis. There is no public safety crisis. These undocumented migrants from Central America are not creating that kind of an issue."

Perry has said the troops will serve as visual deterrents.

"You don’t need national guardsmen. You don't need to militarize our border. I mean, perhaps you need to hire maybe more civilian help to go out there and handle processing," Garcia said. "What can a national guardsman or any law enforcement officer do that's not being done? You can line up these officers, hand-in-hand all across our river, and the law says you can't push these people back into the water if they're wanting to step onto our shores. You've got to help them, take them to be processed."

At the border on Tuesday, there was a heavy presence of patrols in the sky and on the ground.

Right now, there are 3,049 U.S. Border Patrol agents along the Rio Grande Valley, and 280 additional agents have been temporarily assigned. The goal, according to the sheriff, is to have that number up to 3,800 in the next two years.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Perry's Border Plan Stirs Debate]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:05:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*140/tlmd_117126244_10.jpg National Guard troops will soon patrol for illegal immigrants as part of Gov. Rick Perry's plan to stop the influx of unaccompanied children and the plan is stirring plenty of debate.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Perry to Send National Guard Troops to Border]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:04:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/219*120/texas-border-sign.jpg Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops over the next month to the Texas-Mexico border to combat criminals that Republican state leaders say are exploiting a surge of children and families entering the U.S. illegally.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[National Guard Troops Going to Border]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:01:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/219*120/texas-border-sign.jpg Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops over the next month to the Texas-Mexico border to combat criminals that Republican state leaders say are exploiting a surge of children and families entering the U.S. illegally.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Strained Sources As Immigrants Cross Texas Border]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:46:09 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/219*120/texas-border-sign.jpg Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops over the next month to the Texas-Mexico border to combat criminals that Republican state leaders say are exploiting a surge of children and families entering the U.S. illegally.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Perry Sending Troops to Border]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:42:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas-border-sign1.jpg Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops over the next month to the Texas-Mexico border to combat criminals that Republican state leaders say are exploiting a surge of children and families entering the U.S. illegally.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Perry, Nichols Field Questions on Border Security]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:19:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/perry-nichols-newser.jpg Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Adjutant General of Texas National Guard Maj. Gen. John Nichols answer questions about measures being taken to secure the Texas border.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Border Security]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:04:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/david-dewhurst-072114.jpg Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst talks about Gov. Rick Perry's plan to send 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to secure the Texas-Mexico border.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Attorney General Greg Abbott on Border Security]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:59:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/greg-abbott-072114.jpg Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott talks about Gov. Rick Perry's plan to send 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to secure the Texas-Mexico border.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[DPS Director Steve McCraw on Border Security]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:44:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/steve-mccraw-072114.jpg Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw talks about Gov. Rick Perry's plan to send 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to secure the Texas-Mexico border.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Perry Sending Texas National Guard to Secure Border]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:36:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rick-perry-072114-border-security.jpg On July 21, 2014, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he was authorizing as many as 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to be mobilized along the Texas-Mexico border. The effort, the governor said, was to secure the border against an influx of illegal immigrants and criminals who are crossing the border along with tens of thousands of unaccompanied and undocumented children.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Maj. Gen. John Nichols on Texas Border Security]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:35:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/john-nichols-072114.jpg Adjutant General of Texas National Guard Maj. Gen. John Nichols talks about Gov. Rick Perry's plan to send 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to secure the Texas-Mexico border.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Immigration Crisis: Who's Organizing Border Protests]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 09:03:58 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/protests3.jpg

The leaders of some of the groups coordinating rallies against undocumented immigrants this weekend are Tea Party backers with histories of colorful, and sometimes controversial, tactics protesting the Obama administration.

Critics of the recent surge in children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, and of plans to house them, are protesting nationwide Friday and Saturday, on highway overpasses, in state capitals and at Mexican consulates.

Three groups — the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, Overpasses for America and Make Them Listen — are coordinating the demonstrations, protesting what they call President Barack Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration law.

William Gheen, the president of Americans for Legal Immigration, describes himself as a veteran campaign consultant who has fought illegal immigration for a decade. He says he previously worked for North Carolina's state government as a legislative assistant and on the Senate sergeant-at-arms staff.

More recently, Gheen and his group have attracted attention, and their share of criticism, over the years for their colorful activist tactics and public remarks.

Gheen once organized a campaign urging supporters to send used underwear to Obama and to House Speaker John Boehner, in mocking response to a call by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for new underwear for detained immigrants. He has also said his group decided to call Obama "Dictator Barack Obama."

But critics say that Gheen overstates his group’s influence and that Americans for Legal Immigration is essentially a one-man show.

He has come under fire for the distribution of the donations made to his group. According to OpenSecrets.org, which tracks money in politics, the group has spent $1,904 against Republicans, including South Carolina's Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, in primaries for the 2014 midterm elections and has spent no money campaigning for Republicans or Democrats — at the same time Gheen was taking a $69,379 salary.

Gheen has also been criticized for saying at a rally that Graham was gay and for urging him to come out, ostensibly so his sexual orientation would not be used against him. Graham has long denied suggestions that he is gay.

Now, amid the undocumented immigration protests Gheen's group is helping to organize, much of the group's criticism is aimed at Obama, whom Gheen blames for the surge in immigration by thousands of undocumented children from central America.

"We’re hoping to raise awareness about the Obama-inspired illegal immigrant surge at our southern border," Gheen said of the rallies.

He accused Obama of trying to transfer the immigrants to shelters around the country as a means of lessening the chances they might be deported, and he said the undocumented children's age should not affect how they are treated.

“The law applies to everyone, and the law needs to be enforced,” Gheen said. “These children and adults with them should not be housed and transported at taxpayer expense to the interior of the country and dispersed.”

Organizing the protests alongside Americans for Legal Immigration is Overpasses for America, a Tea Party-affiliated group that encourages demonstrators to protest on highway overpasses to capture drivers' attention.

The group's founder, James Neighbors, said that undocumented immigrants should be quarantined because they might have communicable diseases like tuberculosis or hepatitis C, a charge critics say is unfounded.

“People are fired up all over the country about this,” Neighbors said. “They’re tired of seeing America invaded.”

Neighbors is no stranger to protests on overpasses. He previously organized the group Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment, which encouraged Obama’s critics to take their protest signs to overpasses. He was inspired to form that group, he explained, by the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

Last year, some of that group’s leadership resigned after accusing him of using money donated to the group for personal use — accusations Neighbors says are lies.

Neighbors said he borrowed money that had been donated specifically for his use while he was in the midst of a workman’s compensation dispute. A former Oklahoma corrections officer, he was injured while protecting a coworker during a fight between inmates, he said.

To critics like Henry Fernandez, a senior fellow at the progressive think tank the Center for American Progress, Neighbors' affiliation, based in Washington D.C., with impeachment efforts show how fringe his anti-immigration effort is.

Fernandez said he didn't expect the immigration protests to draw many people in most places.

One of the organizations, Overpasses For America, pushes "this broad range of conspiracy theories, where the government is trying to take the country away and rights away from real Americans, whatever that might be," he said.

And all three are small groups on the fringe, he said.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Rudy Bush on Gov. Perry's Plan to Send Guardsman to Border]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:25:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DMN_Rudy_Bush_11a_072114_1200x675_310260291875.jpg Rudolph Bush of The Dallas Morning News talks about Gov. Rick Perry's plan to send a thousand National Guard troops to the border to help control the influx of immigrant children.]]> <![CDATA[Immigrant Children Concern Grand Prairie Residents]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 17:00:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Immigrant+Children+10.jpg Grand Prairie residents packed a Grand Prairie ISD school board meeting to voice their opinions on possibly using the former Lamar Alternative Education Center as a shelter for immigrant children.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: July 20, 2014]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 09:15:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg On Lone Star Politics, Fort Worth Congresswoman Kay Granger reveals when the GOP study group that she heads will issue recommendations on solving the border crisis. Plus, NBC 5’s Kevin Cokely and Gromer Jeffers from The Dallas Morning News ask Empower Texans founder & CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan why he refuses to testify before the Texas Ethics Commission. Finally, Dallas Morning News Senior Political Writer Wayne Slater and Gromer weigh in on whether Wendy Davis is making any progress in her campaign for governor. Watch Lone Star Politics Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[Immigration Protests Held Across North Texas]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:11:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*160/protest27.jpg

North Texans unhappy about the border crisis are letting their voices be heard at protests Friday and Saturday.

Dozens of people gathered in downtown Dallas to protest Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins' work to bring 2,000 undocumented immigrant children to the county for care, while protesters in Fort Worth took to the street in front of several government agencies on West 7th Street.

Those protests were among 10 planned in North Texas and hundreds being held across the country, as part of a nationwide response to the undocumented immigration surge and what opponents call immigration reform amnesty.

At the Dallas protest, people who support Judge Jenkins' efforts came out to the same block to counter-protest. Supporters of the plan to take in the immigrant children said it’s our human responsibility to care for the children.

Jenkins released a statement in response to the demonstration.

"I am focused on working with our community, faith leaders and federal partners on helping traumatized children in crisis move from detention on the border to compassionate care here," he said. "Leaders can empower grace and mercy or incite fear and anger, but it's the community that responds. Dallas County residents have overwhelmingly chosen compassion."

The protests — launched by Make Them Listen, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC and Overpasses for America — will continue Saturday.

North Texas protest locations, according to Americans for Legal Immigration:

FRIDAY
Dallas: 411 Elm St., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fort Worth: 501 W. 7th St., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Arlington: Overpass at Davis Street Bridge at I-30, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Corinth: Corner of I-35E and Swisher Road, 7 a.m. to noon
Waxahachie: Cantrell Overpass at I-35, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rockwall: Horizon Road and Highway 30 Overpass, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

SATURDAY
Fort Worth: Overpass at 2850 Heritage Trace Parkway at I-35 West, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Allen: Highway 75 at Exchange Overpass, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rockwall: Horizon Road and Highway 30 Overpass, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Waxahachie: Cantrell Overpass at I-35, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Immigration Protest in DFW]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:43:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*160/protest27.jpg North Texans protested on Friday against immigrant children coming to DFW.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Grand Prairie ISD Building Could House Immigrant Kids]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 17:13:25 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Lamar+Alternatiive+Education+Center.jpg

Grand Prairie ISD school board members may decide to allow the federal government to use the vacant Lamar Alternative Education Program building to house hundreds of immigrant children.

The building is among three Dallas County sites being considered as shelters for 2,000 unaccompanied children expected to emigrate from Central America later this month.

The Grand Prairie site is in a quiet neighborhood just south of Interstate 30.

Many attended Thursday's school board meeting, where members were updated on the plan.

"It makes fiscal sense. It makes moral sense that ya'll are looking at this," said one resident.

Others spoke about possible declining home values and safety concerns.

Vanessa George lives down the street from Lamar and bikes around the neighborhood with her one-year-old baby. She said she doesn’t have a problem with the border children being temporarily housed near her, but she is concerned about protestors possibly coming along.

"You never know how people are going to act, and what kind of attitude they're going to have, or if they want to be violent. So I don't want that disruption," she said.

George said whatever happens, she hopes the children get the support they need soon.

"It's more of a human rights thing than a political issue like people are making it," she said. "Ultimately, the kids need to be taken care of, whether it's here or somewhere else, whether they keep them closer to the border. Their safety and health is the number one priority."

Right now, federal assessment teams are at Lamar to decide how much it would take to bring it up to code.

There is no expected date on when the school board will ultimately make a decision.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Immigrant Kids Housing Plans Advance]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:14:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Border+immigration+protest+Dallas.jpg

Arrangements to house around 2,000 immigrant children in Dallas County advanced Wednesday as demonstrators spoke out against a Texas senator's plan to deport the children faster.

Contractors hired by the federal government were seen at Hulcy Middle School on Polk Street south of Interstate 20.

The unused school is one of three sites offered in Dallas County to serve as temporary immigrant processing facilities but none have been officially approved yet.

"We've got a cross jurisdictional team there from the federal government today," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Jenkins went door-to-door in person Wednesday morning to the homes of neighbors closest to Hulcy to discuss the plans with them.

"Of those who were home, I didn't have a single person who, after it was explained to them what was happening, was opposed," Jenkins said.

Neighbor Elizabeth Portillo met Jenkins at her home.

"I think that was very appropriate and helpful for them to come directly to us," she said. "I'm all for it, what they're trying to do, trying to help out the kids."

In North Dallas, members of the immigration reform group Texas Organizing Project (TOP) staged a demonstration outside the office of Texas Sen. John Cornyn on Spring Valley Road at the Dallas North Tollway.

About a dozen people chanted and waived signs during the evening rush hour, demonstrating against Cornyn's proposed "Humane Act." The bill would speed the return of immigrant children to their countries.

TOP leader Daniel Barrera said rushing the children back to the problems they ran from in their countries would not be humane.

"They aren't looking to cause mischief. They're not looking to cause trouble. What they are looking for is a safe and secure place to stay," Barrera said.

Immigrant kids held at the Hulcy facility would not be free to leave as their cases are reviewed. All services for them would be provided at federal government expense on the grounds of the former middle school.

Neighbor Violet Machado said the immigrant children could be less of a disruption than the middle school students who came and went daily from the school.

"It's just protestors," Machado said. "I would hate for it to get rowdy out there, having kids myself. But other than that, I don't mind it."

Jenkins said his office has received many complaints from people opposed to housing immigrant children in Dallas County, but he's still pushing the plan to welcome them in North Texas by the end of July.

"It's going to be an exciting journey, and I'm glad to be a part of it," Jenkins said.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[N. Texans Protest Youth Immigrants Deportation]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:39:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Border+immigration+protest+Dallas.jpg North Texans protest against plans to speed up deportations of immigrant children coming to DFW.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Faith-Based Groups Discuss Housing Immigrant Kids]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 17:48:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Immigrant+meeting.jpg Faith groups met Tuesday to discuss opportunities to assist immigrant children who will be temporarily housed in North Texas.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Concerns About Diseases From Immigrants ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:58:58 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Immigrant+Children+09.jpg With thousands of immigrants coming into Texas, many people are concerned about the spread of diseases. The Dallas Morning News medical expert, Dr. Seema Yasmin, dug into the facts.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Understanding the 'Humane Act']]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:31:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Immigrant+Children+04.jpg As Texas Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Henry Cuellar prepared to introduce bipartisan legislation they say would stem the exodus of children coming from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, Tod Robberson of The Dallas Morning News talks about the proposal that's being called the Humane Act.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Congresswoman Kay Granger Speaks About Border Crisis]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:10:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/149195520.jpg U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger, R-Texas, is leading a group of seven House republicans tasked with finding solutions to the border crisis.]]> <![CDATA[Government Agency to Inspect Dallas School to House Migrant Children]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:09:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/hulcy-middle-school.jpg

Editor's Note: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will perform the site inspections. Jenkins' office said he misspoke when he said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would conduct the site inspections. The story has been updated to reflect Jenkins' correction.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be in Dallas this week to inspect a middle school as a possible site to house the 2,000 unaccompanied immigrant children coming to Dallas County.

D.A. Hulcy Middle School is one of three sites that Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has proposed to house the children.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said this facility to OK to use as temporary housing. However, about a dozen people protested at the middle school over the weekend who believe the building is not good enough.

Congressional candidate Eric Williams said a 2013 Dallas ISD facilities report for D.A. Hulcy Middle School shows the building could be at-risk for mold, asbestos and lead.

NBC 5 is waiting to hear back from the Office of Refugee Resettlement on what they will specifically plan look for inside the school building.

Once a site is chosen, shelter organizers said setting up the facility will happen very quickly.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Protesters Claim Oak Cliff School Is Unfit for Immigrants]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 07:44:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/071214+Dulcy+Middle+School.jpg

Protesters gathered Saturday afternoon to say a school chosen for hundreds of fleeing Central American immigrants is not the right place for them.

D. A. Hulcy Middle School is one of three sites announced by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins as a proposed place to house 2000 immigrants by late July.

A small rally on Saturday organized by Congressional Candidate Eric Williams denounced the idea.

Williams said he is not against the plan to bring children from the border to Dallas county, but the school is not the place for them.

"I don't want to see children that I don't even know, but I care about, put in this type of facility," said Williams.

Williams said the facility is unfit, citing a 2013 district-wide Dallas ISD facilities report that shows there are more than 20 million dollars in deficiencies at Hulcy.

Williams claims there is a potential for mold, asbestos, lead and other hazardous issues.

NBC DFW talked with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. He said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has already deemed Hulcy Middle School viable.

He also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will send an Industrial Hygiene team into the building early next week. 

If the building isn't deemed fit, Jenkins said it won't be used.

A Dallas ISD spokesperson told NBC DFW the federal government has not approached the district about using Hulcy Middle School yet.

]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Delegation Speaks on Border Crisis]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 19:10:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Roundtable+070914.jpg

Members of the Texas congressional delegation are weighing in after President Barack Obama asked their help in getting a bill passed that would supply $3.7 billion in emergency funding for the border crisis.

Democratic Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, who attended a meeting in Dallas with Obama and Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday, echoed the request.

"Texas Democrats are ready to move forward on immigration reform. I do not know if my fellow Texans in the Republican Party are ready to move forward. So far they have not moved to pass comprehensive immigration legislation, even though legislation has passed in the Senate. I hope the plea from the president and other members of the Republican party leads them to move on passing comprehensive immigration reform," Johnson said in a statement.

Rep. Pete Sessions told NBC5 he does not think the proposed legislation has a chance of passing as is, and many Democrats from North Texas agree.

“The president’s package arrived on Monday or Tuesday, and I think the president is making this a political issue by within a day or so if it being sent to the Congress, trying to single the Texas delegation out as those who would hold it up,” said Sessions.

Sessions says the proposal doesn’t go far enough to address the overall problem.

Rep. Jeb Hanserling agrees, saying, in part:

"Given President Obama’s lack of priority in enforcing our nation’s existing immigration laws, Congress cannot and should not rubber stamp this Administration’s $3.7 billion request which gives priority to dealing with the repercussions of this self-inflicted crisis over preventing and eliminating the underlying causes - which are an unsecured border and a failure to enforce our immigration laws."

And Rep. Roger Williams sent a letter to the president, asking him to sit down with the delegation.

"On behalf of my Texas colleagues, I plead for your time," Williams wrote. "I would like to invite you to sit down with the Texas delegation so we can find a solution together. You carved out an entire afternoon to raise money in the Lone Star State while stubbornly refusing to visit the border, but I hope that the two miles between our House and the White House will not be a deterrent. Please contact me to arrange this vital meeting, and let's fix the problem now."



Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Border Crisis Heats Up]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:58:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/texasobamaB.jpg President Obama spent Thursday in Austin, where he called on Texas Republicans to help pass $3.7 billion in emergency spending to address the crisis on the border.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Immigrant Youth Plan for DFW]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:19:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cms607.jpg

A day after meeting with President Barak Obama and Governor Rick Perry, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says progress was made on the plan to bring 2,000 undocumented children from the Texas-Mexico border to North Texas.

“As far as the piece of what we’re doing here in Dallas County, I think there was a lot accomplished,” said Jenkins.

However, Jenkins couldn’t produce a written plan and instead pointed to the federal government.

“As far as the contracts, no, that’s is not in writing yet. That would not come from my office. That would come from the federal government,” Jenkins said.

“It’s a fluid situation, but our goal is to get children here by the end of July,” Jenkins said, “As we get children here, we’re not talking about 2,000 in a mass migration.”

Jenkins went on to say the three facilities will be filled over time. He expects children to be housed for 21 to 35 days before they’re processed through the system.

During Wednesday’s meeting with the president, Jenkins says issues like immunization, quarantine and safety were hammered out.

But, as far as the potential impact on the education system Jenkins had the following to say.

“With 7 million people in the metroplex, some of these children will go to family members or foster care here in the metroplex. And just as is the case every year at every large school district, we’ll have children that are here under refugee status pending immigration decisions,” he said.

Jenkins says he still hopes to have the children in Dallas County this month.

“I realistically think I’m going to keep chewing on people to get them to do everything in their power to get children here by the end of July,” Jenkins said.

Questions are beginning to emerge surrounding how volunteers can help. Terry Henderson, with Texas Baptist Men, says there may be a chance volunteers will not be allowed inside federal shelter facilities in North Texas.

“Homeland security yesterday told us that going into a facility is probably not going to happen for NGOs because there is a law not allowing NGOs, volunteer agencies, churches to go into the federal detention centers and the federal shelters where they have federal contractors because of the liability issues on them being liable for us,” Henderson said.

NBC5 reached out to the Department of Homeland Security for comment, but did not receive a response.

Faith-based groups like the Texas Baptist Convention say being inside the facilities is important.

“What they are going to need is socialization resources – all their free time, they are going to eat and sleep and then you have all that other time,” said Chris Liebrum, director of disaster recovery for the Texas Baptist Convention.

Jenkins admits there are some issues that need to be worked out in regards to volunteer organizations, but recognizes the need for volunteers to work directly with the children.

“They also need love,” Jenkins said, “I don’t think a child feels love in a holding cell with armed guards around them, and I want, when we bring them here, I want them to know they are not just wards of the state for a few days but this community values them as people.”

“People want to give and that’s their natural instinct, but at this point it would be a problem because of storage. And we don’t really know what they want,” Liebrum said.

While they aren’t collecting supplies, they are taking donations to help mobilize immediately when they are needed. Texas Baptist Convention has set up the For the Children fund. You can make a monetary donation or give the organization your information and they will contact you when they need help.

“We’re not really into the politics of this all. We’re really here for the children, which is why we named our fund For the Children,” said David Hardage, Executive Director of Texas Baptist Convention.

But as of now, the hands of volunteer organizations are tied until a full plan is place and they the get the green light to work inside federal facilities in Dallas County.

If you would like to help right now, the best way is to contact Catholic Charities of Fort Worth or Texas Baptist Convention. Judge Jenkins also suggests those looking to volunteer time or make donations should contact his office for further instructions.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Plans Still in the Works to Bring Immigrant Youth to DFW]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:56:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Immigrant+Children+02.jpg Governor Rick Perry toured a stretch of the Texas border in the Rio Grande Valley Thursday. Tens of thousands of immigrant children have entered the United States, and some of them are coming to North Texas.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[President Obama Meets With Dallas Officials]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 19:02:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Roundtable+070914.jpg President Barack Obama says Congress has the ability to act immediately to address the wave of unaccompanied minors coming over the border from Mexico into the U.S.

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[President Obama Arrives in Dallas]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:22:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/OBAMA+NTX+VISIT10.jpg President Barack Obama arrived at DFW International Airport Wednesday afternoon just before 4 p.m. President Obama is meeting with Governor Rick Perry, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to discuss the border crisis.]]>