Judge: Immigrant children will arrive in Somervell County Dec. 29

Somervell County notified Monday
Camp is between Cleburne and Glen Rose
About 200 children are expected

The Johnson County sheriff was told around 200 immigrant children are coming to Camp Arrowhead. Osborne, Ryan - Fort Worth

GLEN ROSE About 200 more immigrant children are coming to North Texas by the end of the month, federal Health and Human Services and Somervell County officials said.

Somervell County Judge Danny Chambers was notified by HHS Monday that the children will be coming to Camp Arrowhead between Cleburne and Glen Rose on Dec. 29.

Texas state law limits use of a facility for those purposes to 21 days, so that’s as long as the children are expected to stay. They’ll be under the supervision of security workers contracted through a private San Antonio-based company, Chambers said. He said he was told there will be one worker for every eight children.

HHS spokeswoman Andrea Helling said the children are ages 12 to 17 and are Central Americans from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Their stay will be federally funded and Somervell County won’t have to provide anything during the three weeks the children are there.

“It won’t come out of Somervell County budget,” Chambers said.

Somervell County Sheriff Greg Doyle said it’s possible some of his deputies will work at the camp when they are off-duty, but he hasn’t confirmed that with any of them.

The camp will be the third in North Texas to host immigrant children. Hundreds have been taken to facilities in Ellis and Rockwall County this month.

Chambers and Doyle were notified by HHS on Monday but first caught word of the camp on Friday, when the federal agency mistakenly notified Johnson County officials.

Camp Arrowhead’s mailing address is in Cleburne, but the camp is in Somervell County.
The announcement surprised Chambers.

“My issues definitely do not lie with the children coming here,” Chambers said. “My issue is with how the federal government comes in here and does this.”

The average stay for kids under HHS control is 30 days, Helling said, so it’s possible children from Ellis and/or Rockwall counties could be transferred to Somervell once the 21 days expire there.

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