DALLAS – Up to 2,000 immigrant children will be cared for in Dallas under a plan announced by County Judge Clay Jenkins at the Texas Democratic Party Convention June 28. Federal dollars would pay for the plan. Desperate Central American children, traveling alone, fleeing stunning poverty and violence, have fled into the United States. Around 50,000 of them are in temporary housing around the Texas/Mexico border.
Since Jenkins aired his plan, different letters to editors have appeared in the Dallas newspaper. Some of them would brutally toss the children back across the Mexican border or return them to war-torn Central America. Some say that Judge Jenkins is cynically using the children as an election-year ploy to enhance his re-election effort. Others see the humanitarian side of the proposal.
Union people aren’t a bit surprised to see Jenkins step out from the crowd on a controversial issue. Since he was elected to the county’s highest office four years ago, Jenkins has consistently stood up for poor and working people. When American Airlines employees desperately needed help, for example, Jenkins joined them on their picket lines. Most recently, Jenkins has distinguished himself by pushing for higher wages for all county employees, including those who are contract labor.
Photo: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins speaks to reporters at a 2012 rally supporting American Airlines workers. Jim Lane/PW