Grand Prairie ISD Building Could House Immigrant Kids

Residents address topic before school board members

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.

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