Country music legend Willie Nelson has urged lawmakers and customs officials in his native Texas to "take care" of the kids who have illegally crossed the state's border with Mexico.

Willie Nelson

Reports suggest some 60,000 youngsters fleeing violence in Central America have crossed the Texas border in the past year.

They are being held in makeshift holding cells while the authorities decide what to do with them.

I'm sure there are homes all over the country that would be glad to take care of one or two kids

Many have arrived without parents or guardians and Nelson has called on those responsible for the kids to remember they're just scared children.

He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "I've been watching and the only thing we can do is take care of those kids, whatever it takes. Take them in, give them some medical attention. I'm sure there are homes all over the country that would be glad to take care of one or two kids. "They're scared.

They're being mistreated, and it's not a good way to start off your life.

But it's a good opportunity for us to show a little bit of humanitarianism and take care of those kids.

I know a lot of people want to send them back.

I guess the closer you are to the situation, the more extreme emotions you have about it, but it seems to me the old golden rule Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...

Treat those kids like they were your kids". And Nelson has criticised President Barack Obama for not visiting the border during his recent visit to Austin, Texas, where the U.S. leader partied with stars at moviemaker Robert Rodriguez's home. The singer adds, "To be that close (to the border) and not go is kind of crazy, I think.

But I'm sure he had all kinds of advisers, and he quit listening to me a long time ago".

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