BROWNSVILLE, Texas, June 29 (UPI) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the "crisis" of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have attempted to cross the border and are currently being held in Texas is an "opportunity" for the United States.
During a visit Saturday to the Texas border with Mexico, she said now is the time for the United States to show its values.
"This is a community with a border going through it. And this crisis -- that some call a crisis -- we have to view as an opportunity," Pelosi said.
She said the children should be moved into better conditions.
"What we just saw was so stunning. If you believe as we do that every child, that every person, has a spark of divinity in them and is therefore worthy of respect, what we saw in those rooms was [a] dazzling, sparkling array of God's children, worthy of respect. So ... we have to use the crisis — that some view as a crisis, and it does have crisis qualities — as an opportunity to show who we are as Americans, that we do respect people for their divinity and worth," she said.
Meanwhile, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Saturday up to 2,000 of the unaccompanied immigrant children will be transferred to Dallas by the end of July.
"We cannot turn our back on the children that are already here," he said.
The children are likely to be housed in former schools and hospitals, which can be transformed into dormitories. He said the children will stay in the county for at least 120 days, though the average stay will be 21 days.
Jenkins said only federal funds will be used to take care of the children.
"It's not a partisan issue," he said. "It's a humanitarian issue. It's about being compassionate to children."