Saturday, July 26, 2014
Well this could get Jeebus pissed at him
In a state that wears its Jeebusness on its sleeve, the act of one judge in Dallas could arouse the ire of a shitload of Sunday Christians and Republicans and ruin his career.
Images of protesters trying to stop buses loaded with illegal immigrants may dominate the news, but in the heart of Texas, one county judge is taking on friends and foes by trying to find shelter for child migrants flooding across the U.S. border.It is either a brilliant political move or the death knell of his career. But either way it is something he can be proud of regardless of the outcome.
Dallas Judge Clay Jenkins, 50, offered federal authorities empty buildings to house 2,000 children from Central America in a risky political move as he faces re-election in November for the top political office in Dallas County.
"These children need our help now. If I lose an election over this, so be it," said Jenkins, who has offered the use of two empty schools and a warehouse and has the unilateral power to do so under the way the county commission operates.
His proposal is in stark contrast to Texas governor Rick Perry's tough stance on the recent influx of tens of thousands of illegal migrants, many of them children, fleeing violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Perry has ordered the deployment of National Guard troops to the border with Mexico.
While Perry and fellow Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz have called for compassion for the children, Jenkins is one of the few politicians in the state to offer up a plan to help them.
In other parts of the United States, a few major Democrat-led cities such as Los Angeles and Syracuse, New York have raised their hand to help, but the plan from Dallas County stands out in a state that is a Republican stronghold.
Underscoring the divisiveness of the border issue in Texas, especially in an election year, Jenkins' proposal is opposed by a fellow Democrat, Eric Williams, who is running for Congress. Williams says the buildings earmarked for shelters are in poor communities with high unemployment rates.
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