Just weeks ago, the great debate over immigration didn’t concern all Muslims worldwide but rather Syrian refugees. And though there have been reports of Syrian families at the southern border, WFAA senior reporter Jason Whitely in Dallas/Fort Worth says that what’s coming next to the border is another surge of unaccompanied illegal alien children.

Whitely reports that the children were trying to enter the U.S. illegally in the Rio Grande Valley when they were captured. “The international border is seeing another surge of children traveling alone, despite federal efforts to stop them from leaving their homes in Central America,” writes Whitely. “Many are fleeing violence and drug cartels in their home countries and trying to reunite with family members already in the U.S.”

WFAA reports that Ellis County officials just learned Wednesday morning of the federal plan to house 500+ children there, who may begin to arrive as early as Thursday.

WTVT’s Jack Fink adds some demographic information, noting that the children range in age from 12 to 18.

Editor’s note: The post has been updated with additional tweets.