Figures recently released by U.S. Border Patrol show that it apprehended 10,558 unaccompanied children, mainly from Central America, who entered the United States illegally in October and November, about double the number over the same period last year.
Officials say rather than fleeing, many of the children seek out U.S. officials, surrender, and request political asylum, citing violence and endemic crime in their home countries.
The number of children rapidly escalated in the summer of 2014, totaling nearly 63,000 for the 10 months ended July 2014. Many were fleeing criminal gangs and drug-related violence at home.
Lakeview Camp, run by the Assemblies of God of North Texas, is due to care for 500 migrant youth. Another 300 Central American children will be housed at Sabine Creek Ranch, a Christian camp, in Rockwall County, the camps said.
Officials in Ellis and Rockwall counties said they received little notice from state and federal agencies of the arrivals.
Reverend Rick DuBose, superintendent of the Assemblies of God of North Texas, told the same news conference that his group was honored to give the children a place to stay for the next three weeks.
"We didn't feel like there was any way we could turn them away and not care for them. We have the beds that are empty and the food that can be served," he said.
The children will then likely move into a U.S. government-run facility or be turned over to family members until their immigration status is decided, officials said.