MANVEL, Texas -- It's a small rural town stuck in a county that just made it clear undocumented children aren't welcome here, but the possibility they could be moving in to the Shiloh Treatment Center, an older facility along Bahler Avenue in Manvel is very real.
They're trying to squeeze them in anywhere they can, said Manvel resident Brian Priest.
We searched federal records and found Shiloh s received a little over $5 million in grant money. That money is coming from the US Office of Refugee Resettlement. That's the same group in charge of placing thousands of undocumented children crossing into the U.S.
Manvel residents are divided.
It's like owning a home and having them come into your backyard, said Priest. Just cause they fit doesn't mean it's okay to stay there. It's our land and we got to stand up for it.
It's not like they're infesting the world to kill us, said Joni Lunsford. They're just little kids.
We tried getting answers from workers inside the facility, but they're not talking on camera. They provided a government number to call. We did, several times, but got nowhere. The lack of answers from the federal government is what frustrates residents in Brazoria County the most.
It d be nice to know they were here before I read it in paper, said Brazoria County Judge Joe King. People in Washington don't care what I think.
The folks we talked to in Manvel are surprised by the possibility, even more surprised by the location.
I could foresee problems in the future, said local business owner Walter Melton.
This small center that may soon house refugee children has troubling ties to Daystar Residential, a care facility shut down years ago, after a 16-year-old boy died there after being restrained.
Neighbors just hope if and when refugee children do make it to Manvel, they're at least safe.
They're welcome here, I'm a teacher, so yeah, they're welcome here, said Lunsford.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided the following response:
In order to enhance the capability to transition unaccompanied children from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, facilities are being identified by the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. General Services Administration as potential locations to increase the medical care and temporary sheltering capacity of HHS.
Organizations, communities and states have offered to help with this humanitarian response and the Unified Coordination Group is also evaluating facilities proposed by state and local partners. While only a few facilities will ultimately be selected, a wide range of facilities are being identified and evaluated to determine if they may feasibly provide temporary shelter space for children. Facilities will be announced when they are identified as viable options.