On Saturday, July 26, approximately 30 Dallas area residents lined up for a small and peaceful protest of Clay Jenkins, the Dallas County judge who took it upon himself to invite 2,000 of the unaccompanied alien minors who have crossed into the United States illegally, to come up to Dallas for shelter.
The rally took place in the upscale Highland Park neighborhood of Dallas that the judge calls home; however, Jenkins and his family were reportedly vacationing in California at the time, according to the Dallas Morning News. Organizer Valerie Villarreal told Breitbart Texas that the location was chosen because they knew no one was home. This was a low-key rally that was meant to be civil and send a symbolic statement while standing against Jenkins’ unilateral decision.
Breitbart Texas first reported that Jenkins announced this push to bring unaccompanied alien minors up to Dallas at the Texas state Democratic Convention on June 29 when the judge “apparently ‘reached out’ to the Department of Homeland Security and offered Dallas as a location for migrant facilities.”
Villarreal, the Texas state leader of Overpasses for America Texas state leader, previously coordinated two days of protests against Jenkins on July 18-19 in downtown Dallas and on overpasses throughout the state.
The group stood in front of Jenkins house for some time before walking quietly through the very upscale Highland Park neighborhood, holding American flags and homemade signs, some of which read “Secure the Border,”
One protester’s sign read: “Don’t like large groups of uninvited strangers in the neighborhood? Neither will others.” That was the point of the rally.
“How does it feel to have other people invade your community,” Q Carbonero posited. He told Breitbart Texas that he was quite sensitive to taking the fight, even if only symbolically, to the sidewalk in front of Jenkins’ residence.
Carbonero, who is affiliated with the Rally Force, a nonpartisan organization that supports a wide variety of liberty-leaning causes, is a strong supporter of legal immigration. He fled Castro’s Cubain 1960 to embark on the lengthy pathway to American citizenship.
Likewise, Dallas resident Mike Openshaw participated in the civil protest because, as he told Breitbart Texas, “A lot of people may feel uncomfortable with abunch of unwanted strangers in their neighborhood. What do you think Jenkins is doing to us?”
Openshaw added, referencing the venues Jenkins offered up as shelters, “(Jenkins) has had almost no citizen input in terms of the layout, he has not spoken to the Grand Prairie City Council, who have to provide fire and police for one of these sites. From a practical standpoint, this is not good.”
Jenkins proposed sites are D.A. Hulcy Middle School in Dallas, Parkland Memorial Hospital warehouse, and the Lamar Alternative Education facility in Grand Prairie ISD.
Another legal immigrant, Flower Mound resident Soon Toh told Breitbart Texas that he came out in support of legal immigration. He said he was Malaysian-Chinese by birth, and American by choice, completing the citizenship process in the early 1980’s.
The group was also concerned with reports that unaccompanied alien minors only make up a small percentage of those who are slipping through the porous southern U.S. border.Breitbart Texas has reported on MS-13 gang members among those illegals crossing into Texas. Breitbart TV aired Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst addressing the fact that 80-85 percent of migrants entering the United States are not minors and have criminal records.
Overall, it was a respectful and compassionate profile of people that emerged during the protest on a sweltering afternoon. Openshaw divulged that his wife was a legal immigrant who worked on American citizenship status from her native country. He also wanted to share with Breitbart Texas about the 11 years of charitable relief efforts he has been involved with in Uganda, where he also supports several Ugandan children. Dallas area resident Suzanne Blackstone told Breitbart Texas that she and her husband travel to Guatemala to work with the poor and young people in schools.
They imparted these personal snapshots of themselves, in part, out of frustration with a mainstream media that depicts pro-legal immigration supporters as hate-filled as one such participant, who asked to remain anonymous, told Breitbart Texas. The legal immigration crowd assembled took the immigration process seriously. Openshaw said, “I do not want this made a mockery of.”
Blackstone raised the concern of lawlessness and how this situation has been handled by Jenkins and Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings. She told Breitbart Texas, “The commissioner’s court is to oversee the needs of the city, the budget of the city. The commissioners, who we elect, were not even informed on this. This was not discussed in the commissioner’s court. This was not discussed with the school board trustees…This needs to be discussed and no one has been invited to the table to talk.”
She added, “Clay Jenkins says this isn’t going to cost us anything. I beg to differ with him. There is a cost to all of this.”
Kelsey Kowald from The Colony agreed. She told Breitbart Texas that like many Americans she is tired of the lies. “We are being told that taxpayers arenot going to foot the bill. It’s insulting that this judge doesn’t understand that Americans are smart enough to know that federal money comes from taxpayers.”
The Highland Park Police maintained a relaxed presence throughout the rally. All city ordinances were followed and all remained cordial. The only fleetingmoment of discord came when a neighborhood Jenkins supporter sped down the center of the street on a pricy bicycle shouting “Stop the Haters!Love the judge!”
The Jenkins’ supporter made more noise than all the protesters combined. Also, Jenkins’ neighbors who acknowledged their support of Jenkins and amnesty interviewed with local media outlets but refused to speak to Breitbart Texas.
Highland Park has a healthy Democratic demographic, voting a blanket 57 percent for Obama in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections with 42 percent voting for the Republican and 1 percent to “other,” according to City-data, which lists the 2012 estimated median neighborhood home value at $998,462.
Given the plush surroundings, one of the two signs Kowald held posed a question to residents like Jenkins: “Guess how many kids and shelters are coming to Highland Park?”
Despite being out of town, Jenkins flagrantly sought to marginalize his opposition in an emailed statement to the Dallas Morning News. “I’m focused on completing the important work of strengthening public safety, expanding services without a tax increase, completing the successful turnaround of Parkland Hospital, promoting the $10.25 living wage and leading a compassionate response to the humanitarian crisis; not a few protesters,” he wrote.
Jenkins, however, was disappointed because the three sites he had hoped to house the illegal minors in Dallas County will not be ready by his original end of July date, also according to the Dallas Morning News. The use of Lamar Alternative Education facility in Grand Prairie ISD created a community uproar at the district’s July 17 board meeting.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.