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Criticism Building Against Plan For Unaccompanied Minors

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Opposition and criticism are building against Dallas County Commissioner Clay Jenkins' plan to bring to Dallas 2,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America who crossed the Texas border.

On Thursday, Judge Jenkins announced three proposed sites to house the youngsters.

Those places include Hulcy Middle School in Dallas' Red Bird area, the Lamar School in Grand Prairie, and a building at the Parkland Hospital complex in Dallas.

But Katrina Pierson, a Garland Tea Party leader, says the problem is, Judge Jenkins isn't planning to have the commissioners court vote on his plan or formally receive residents' input.

"So a lot of Tea Partiers, grass roots conservatives, and people in general, parents, will be going to commissioners court next week to try to have their voices heard."

Emotions overflowed this week in California.  Hundreds of residents in a small city there blocked three buses carrying unaccompanied minors who were being transferred from the Texas border.  The crowd forced the buses to turn around and head to a new location.

Pierson says she won't be surprised to see similar demonstrations here. "I would anticipate protests mainly because when people don't know what's going on, they're afraid, people tend to act out."

Judge Jenkins said today that officials have consulted with neighbors around the three selected sites where the children will stay.  He says no county tax dollars will be used to house the children here, because the federal government will pick up the tab.

Republicans like Cathie Adams of the social conservative group Texas Eagle Forum don't believe it.

"We're talking about housing, we're talking about food, we're talking about educating, we're talking about medicating. This is a huge expense."

Jenkins says people should put aside the politics - because he's trying to help children.

But Adams questions' Jenkins' motives. "To go to announce at a Democratic State convention, he's using it for his own political gain."

Jenkins responded, "If this is a political move, then I am the stupidest politician in Texas. We're the first community in this nation that has reached out to the federal government."

Judge Jenkins says Texas doesn't turn its back on children.

His Republican critics though say he should have sought more community input first before volunteering to bring the children here.

Follow Jack on Twitter: @cbs11jack

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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