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List of Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors Published, City of Pyote Still on the Radar

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

60,000 unaccompanied illegal children are projected to cross the border this year. All are taken to detention facilities. But some residents are opening their doors to these children as they wait their turn before a judge.

As South Texas shelters are bursting at the seams, residents are opening their doors to house these unaccompanied minors.

NewsWest 9 obtained a list by county that shows the number of children released to a family member or a sponsor, as they wait their turn before a judge.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement shows Harris County releasing nearly 3,000 children, followed by Dallas County with 851, Travis County with 354 and Tarrant County at 199.

In a list that only shows counties that release more than 50 children, no West Texas nor New Mexico counties were documented.

"If we can rescue the people off the top of a mountain in Iraq, surely we can take care of the children in McAllen, Texas," Pyote City Manager, Lloyd Collins, said.

The City of Pyote landed on the radar in recent months as the old Texas Youth Commission facility was tapped to potentially house undocumented immigrants from Central America.

"It was built to house children. So as far as I'm concerned, bring the children," Collins said.

Some city leaders say it would bring jobs and the facility back to life. 

Others oppose the idea.

"If we can have something out there [at the facility] it would be helpful but I definitely wouldn't be in favor of having these undocumented aliens out there," City Councilman of Pyote, Harold Coursey, said.

Other Pyote residents have displayed mixed emotions.

"The few opinions I have heard are mixed, yay and nay. Some are for it, some definitely opposed to it," Coursey said.

University of Texas Lands makes the final call on the use of this facility, as they are the owners of the property. NewsWest 9 called them Friday morning and we were told that no formal request has been submitted yet to use the facility to house undocumented immigrants.

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