The Texas State Teachers Association is urging Governor Greg Abbott and State Education Commissioner Mike Morath to come up with a plan to provide education services to the children who have been separated from their families. However, the Secretary of Homeland Security said the children are being cared for and are being educated.
Clay Robison with TSTA said it is the state's moral obligation to make sure immigrant children are learning.
"If the federal government is doing so, fine and good," he said. "But we think the governor and the state education commissioner need to weigh in on this, and need to double-check and see how sufficient and how good these educational programs are. We don't know the educational levels of these children. I fear some of them may have poor educational levels. And others may have more education, but they can't just sit there in these tent cities marking time."
President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance policy has reportedly led to the separation of at least 2,000 children from their parents.
Christian Sanchez with RAICES, the largest immigration legal services group, said the non-profit is getting several phone calls.
"We expect with the zero-tolerance policy and more criminal prosecutions that there would be even more cases that we will be seeing, and more people calling us," he said.
He said the recent spotlight on undocumented immigrants along the border has ignited the debate on what he calls a broken system. However, Senator Ted Cruz is proposing a new idea to keep families together.
"Over the past few weeks, Americans have been rightly horrified by the images and videos coming from our southern border, where tearful children are being pulled away from their mothers and fathers," Sen Cruz said. "There is no doubt that this must stop, immediately. We can come together to fix this problem. The Protect Kids and Parents Act focuses on solving the current problem: it stops family separation, except in situations where it is necessary to protect the health and well-being of the child, and doubles the number of immigration judges and expedites the process by which we handle asylum claims by families who enter our country. I hope that my Democratic colleagues can join with us to stop the crisis that is occurring at the border."
Sanchez isn't sold on Cruz's plan. "It would just be a band-aid an ineffective band-aid to a system that is already broken," Sanchez said.
Robison says the association hasn't heard a response from the education commissioner or the governor on the request.