Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins Puts Humanitarian Border Crisis Above Own Re-Election Chances

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Not a day has passed since the border crisis caught national attention that Conservative officials have attempted to vilify the young children that came to our borders seeking refuge, and fought to deport every single one of these kids to their likely death by violence in their home countries. For people that claim to be highly religious and driven by faith, Conservatives these past weeks have done only but an amazing job at proving that their actions are neither religious or humanitarian.

But, for all the hatred spewed, there has been an equal– if not more powerful– push to provide safety and shelter for these young kids by many caring people in our communities.

One such case is Dallas County, after announcing it would provide shelter to 2,000 refugee children held by the Department of Homeland Security along the border.

The announcement was made by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins at the Texas Democratic Convention last month. Jenkins, the top elected official in Dallas County up for re-election this year, has since become a big target by angry Conservatives calling for his defeat in November.

More below the jump.“I believe that every child is precious, and that regardless of your stance on immigration or the causes for this human tragedy, we cannot turn our back on the children that are already here,” spoke Jenkins at the TDP convention.

“We can't help all, but we can help some,” he said.

Conservatives, as one might expect by now, were quick to direct their anger towards Jenkins for wanting to help young children. His office has been flooded with angry calls, many of these coming from people out of Texas.

Jenkins will face Republican Ron Natinsky, a former Dallas City Council member, in November.

Mike Cantrell, the only Republican on the Dallas County Commissioners Court, links Jenkins to President Obama. Cantrell argues Jenkins is not driven by the best interests of the people in Dallas County.

“He is totally focused on the federal Obama agenda,” said Cantrell. “It is a very radical leftist progressive agenda, and he is propagating it right here in Dallas County at taxpayer expense.”

Jenkins has been a strong advocate for the Affordable Care Act and raising the minimum-wage. Under Jenkins, Dallas County joined the Justice Department in challenging Texas' voter ID law, legislation meant to suppress the minority vote.

“What I am trying to do is get things done,” says Jenkins.

The backlash by Conservatives has not deterred Jenkins from advancing the plans to help the refugee children.

Plans to help shelter the young refugee children have advanced in Dallas. An unused middle school is now being considered as a temporary placement, and was visited by federal government contractors earlier this week. Residents nearest to the school were visited by Jenkins in-person Wednesday morning, who discussed with them the plans for the children.

“Of those who were home, I didn't have a single person who, after it was explained to them what was happening, was opposed,” Jenkins said.

The unused middle school is one of three sites that will be used for temporary placements; although, no site has yet been officially confirmed.

Below a video by NBC 5 explaining the advancements in Dallas:


About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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