Illegal immigrant children to be housed throughout the country - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Illegal immigrant children to be housed throughout the country

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LONGVIEW (KYTX) - A rash of undocumented children and adults have been reported in the Rio Grande valley of Texas -- and other parts of the southwest border. Texas is stepping up along with other states to take in thousands of children from central America and Mexico.

While it's not known how many -- if any could end up in east Texas -- local political leaders say the problem should never have reached this point.

Right now 50,000 unaccompanied children have made their way to the US, and by the end of the year, that number is expected to grow to 60 to 70 thousand.

President Obama says this issue shines a light on why immigration reform is needed now. Others say, this problems shows how un-guarded our borders really are.

"These kids are two months a year two years old up to 15 years old crossing the border by themselves or with the coyotes," said immigration advocate and lawyer Jose Sanchez.

He said the influx of kids isn't an immigration issue, it a humanitarian one.

"They can't just drop them so they have to go through these processes, they have to clothe them feed them, while they go through the legal process."

With so many children and lack of housing, different states across the country will take up the slack. Dallas county is expected to take in 2,000 the rest will be spread throughout other US cities including others in Texas. Local leaders say something has to be done to stop the problem before it reaches this drastic level.

"Our job is not to be the orphanage of the world."

Keith Rothra is the former chairman of Gregg county Republican party.

"The problem is not what are we gonna do with the people have here, the problem first and foremost is how are we going to stop the flow of the people coming in."

He says, the influx of children comes from a more porous border. He said the immigration bill currently in limbo focuses too much on processing immigrants who are here and not enough on border security.

"We can not open the doors to a floodgate to half a million children flooding into here for us to farm them out to wherever in the united states to take care of all of their needs, we can no do this." He added, nothing should be done until the borders are sealed..

On the other hand, Sanchez says, a complete shut down of the border would be impractical.

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