On Thursday, the last group of migrant kids staying at a Rockwall County campsite was transferred to other temporary shelters. Last week, a larger shelter in Ellis County sent off its last kids. The co-owner of the Rockwall camp spoke to KERA about her experience.
Three buses rolled into Sabine Creek Ranch throughout the day Thursday to pick up the remaining 126 kids.
Sarah Walker and her husband, Eddie, run the campsite, about 30 minutes east of Dallas. She said they didn’t have a lot of direct contact with the kids but did see them during meals. They also gave them gifts over the holidays.
“It was a very sweet thing for my family and I to be a part of and to watch as those kids opened those gifts,” Walker said. “One young man said he had never received a gift before – he was 16 years old.”
People from Corsicana to Cleburne donated items. Some dropped off socks, pants, soccer balls and hair accessories. Overall, she said, the experience was rewarding.
“It’s just eye-opening and kind of changing your world view, and thinking about these kids are not coming here necessarily because they want to make better money or whatever, they’re coming here because they want to stay alive,” Walker said. “It just kind of gives you a much broader picture of what’s going on around you, outside of your little bubble.”
Two other temporary shelters also recently opened – one outside of Cleburne and one near Waco.
The rest of the journey for these kids, however, remains uncertain. Some will eventually be reunited with family and ordered to appear in immigration court. Ultimately, some will be deported; others will get to stay.