Why Isn't Clay Jenkins the Headline on the Immigration Story? Guess.

Categories: Schutze

hatfiled2.jpg
Wikipedia
Send me door-to-door to find quotes on how people feel about shelters for immigrant children, I can find this family to interview. Half hour max.

As a lifelong reporter, I can't help looking at the babies-at-the-border story and worry about the way my own craft tends to tilt a narrative like this. And don't think I think I'm Goody Two-Shoes. If anything I know the drill too well.

A front-page story in The New York Times yesterday was called, "Towns Fight to Avoid Taking In Migrant Minors," and included quotes like this one from a 51-year-old volunteer fireman: "That's my tax money taking care of a foreign national or however you want to classify them. I don't want to take care of a foreign national. It's not my problem."

I'm not saying there's anything wrong or illegitimate with that quote. I'm just saying you could dump me out of a car with a notebook and a pencil anywhere from Nome to Key West, and I could spot the dude in the crowd who would give me that quote.

The main thing I wondered as I read down into it was, "When do we get to Clay Jenkins?" And, indeed, I did find our local county judge, about 1,300 words down into a 1,600-word story, where veteran Times reporter Manny Fernandez presented what I thought was a moving account of Jenkins' activism on this issue. Fernandez describes how Jenkins went door-to-door talking to neighbors near a school in Grand Prairie being considered as a shelter.

"I was blown away by their support," Jenkins told the Times. "I don't feel like we have to solve the border crisis for a terrified child to be shown some compassion."

Something deep in my own bones as a newspaper person tells me that Fernandez and his editors obviously were right: Jenkins was not the top of the story. As long as you've got helpless children alone and adults who don't give a damn, that's the headline and first paragraph. I can't always explain it to people outside the business. The best I have been able to come up with is a sort of half-assed theory of the more immediate peril:

I'm on your street. You are coming out the door at me. I know about two things happening on your street. One, a woman at the far end of the block has established a wonderful experimental school in her house, and she's down there right now helping learning-challenged second-graders achieve full literacy.

Two, your meth-head ex-con neighbor just kicked through the glass doors in the back of his house with an assault rifle in both hands and is headed out the driveway toward you. So, in terms of what I should tell you about first, what's my lead? It's really up to you.

What fascinates me about Jenkins' approach to the problem, however, is that he cut us out of the paradigm. He did an end-run on the media and went door-to-door. And by the way, any experienced reporter can tell you that door-to-door is where it's at.

If you get out of the car and survey a mob already gathered at the focal point, you know that you've got people who have shown up to play certain roles in the drama. They have their costumes on, and they already know their lines. That's how you know how to get the quotes you came for quick and easy and get the hell back to the office with your shirt still dry.

But door-to-door you get people as they are, people who aren't expecting your knock, people you are interrupting from the normal flow of their lives, and they usually don't give you scripted quotes. More often than not, they speak from their hearts.

Is it not interesting that the reaction Jenkins says he found door-to-door in Grand Prairie actually comports with what the national polling shows -- that, yes, people are worried about immigration because it is unresolved, but a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents want Washington to come up with comprehensive, humane, reasonable solutions including a path to citizenship and do not favor Draconian mass deportation.

I was haunted by a letter-to-the editor in The Dallas Morning News recently from Octavio Tripp, consul general of Mexico, in which he outlined Mexico's approach to its own southern border crisis, which included, "Formal and orderly crossing ... Encourage formal entry into Mexico and facilitate the acquisition of regional visitor cards for Guatemalans and Belizeans."

Wow. Recognize that the people are coming over one way or the other. Instead of chasing them around the countryside, welcome them, card them, keep track of them and enforce an orderly set of rules for whether or not they can stay. Why can't we do anything like that?

I worry we in the media may be one reason for the erosion of reasonableness in our society. Have we trained up or at least egged on a cadre of right-wing shock-jock eyeball-bulgers who show up at the news sites to speak their meth-head insanity lines? And then we jump out of the car with our notebook, say to ourselves, "Prime eyeball-bulger at 72 degrees," run over there and ask him, "How do you feel about the government spending your tax dollars to help Mexicans?"

Not sure. In the chicken and egg debate about media and social behavior, I'm about 78 percent an egg man -- society does it, we cover it. I rarely give us credit for being smart enough to do much better than stay a jump behind.

But, wait. Why isn't Clay Jenkins a national story? He's this Texas county judge. (Thinking as Yankee reporter self, need sentence explain what hell county judge is.) He's volunteering to bring refugee children to his county hundreds of miles from the border. He went door-to-door to do his own reporting on it. He swears he found overwhelming support out there.

Maybe eventually he will be a lead story. Some reporter like me gets sent to those same neighborhoods. Spots house with confederate flag in garage window, Rush Limbaugh bumper sticker on red pickup size of Abrams tank. Knock-knock-knock. Hey. It's my professional duty to come back to the newsroom with meat for the beast.



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
224 comments
markie19
markie19

est | Top Comments

markie1918 hours ago


Kerry Goad6 minutes ago via YouTubeOnly Me
  • READ THEME MY LIFE MARKERRY SOLL GOAD -MARKIE MC NIGHT SISTER TO DARROW K SOLL KILLED NO SUICIDE -I AM A MEDIUM PROPHET DANGEROUS HERE CAN NOT CALL PEOPLE THEY HAVE TRIED TO DRUG AND KILL ME MANY TIMES I CALL POLICE AND THEY WILL AGAIN CHILD STOLEN BY CPS HUGE RING THEY SELL CHILDREN SEX AND MORE -I GREW UP IN IT-FAMILY-GOVERNOR AND SHERIFF DIRTY CAREFUL VERY -MANY COPS DEAD I GET THEM SEAN DRENTH AND LARRY DEVER -MYRON CHISEM-A FEW DIED I THINK BECAUSE OF ME -READ MARKIE MC NIGHT WATCH SKULLS MOST LAYERS IN THIS TOWN ROGER MORRIS-ED NOVAK MOST PUBLIC DEFENDERS CPS-NEED NON DIRTY FBI JOHN SANDWEG FUCKED ME AND HIS DAD IS IN THE FBI READ MARKERRY SOLL CHILD KENNEDY KORY I NEED HER ASAP-SHE IS LIKE ME THEY WANT HER DOWN NAMED AFTER DARROW READPelican Brief Trailerwww.youtube.comFirst-rate legal thriller based on John Grisham's #1 bestseller. http://www.johngrishamonline.com
LikeLike · · Subscribe on YouTube · SharePelican Brief Trailer

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Fact: "Illegal immigration exploded shortly after President Barack Obama issued an executive order halting some deportations (penning the Dream Act anyways).  In fiscal years 2000 through 2011, fewer than 4,000 “unaccompanied alien children” from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were apprehended at the border each year. That jumped to 10,146 in FY 2012, doubled to 20,805 in FY 2013 and has doubled again this year."

Fact: An internal DHS report states that the number of foreigners filing successful asylum claims tripled between 2012 and 2013 to 30,393. And that figure is 10 times the number of requests granted in 2008 — the year before Barack Obama took office — when only 3,097 petitions for asylum were granted.  Such requests are only supposed to be granted where there is a “credible fear” of persecution (religious or political, not economic).  The DHS data also showed that the approval rate for asylum requests jumped from 64 percent in 2008 to 84 percent in 2013. The number of immigrants under age 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry fell from 8,143 in 2008 to 1,669 last year."

Question: Either we have an inept administration too stubborn to change course, or this is by design.

It is an either/or proposition.

the question is, what is the purpose of it?

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas topcommenter

Central and South Americans crossing into Mexico may or may not be "refugees".  But, they are Mexico's problem. 


When they cross illegally into the United States, they are nothing more than illegals - despite their ages and claims of violence in their home countries. In other words, Mexico is dumping THEIR problems on us, and we are pretending responsibility for supporting these teens and the many adults actually accompanying them for YEARS at taxpayer expense. 


America doesn't need to demonstrate its compassion.  It's done so for over 100 years, expecting nothing in return.  But, most of those cases were optional; not hijacked such as Mexico and the illegals are doing. 


I believe charity begins at home.  If we're going to spend billions of dollars supporting people, I believe they should be card-carrying American citizens.

miltrac
miltrac

If the root of the immigration problem is not fixed, millions of immigrants will continue to flood the U.S. The countries with the problems have to be invaded and taken over. The U.S. has to turn them into colonies and govern them for at least 200 years. Many individuals will be shocked by what I said but it is a viable solution. The news are hot today. http://ow.ly/zmmWK

markie19
markie19


Kerry Goad6 minutes ago via YouTubeOnly Me
  • READ THEME MY LIFE MARKERRY SOLL GOAD -MARKIE MC NIGHT SISTER TO DARROW K SOLL KILLED NO SUICIDE -I AM A MEDIUM PROPHET DANGEROUS HERE CAN NOT CALL PEOPLE THEY HAVE TRIED TO DRUG AND KILL ME MANY TIMES I CALL POLICE AND THEY WILL AGAIN CHILD STOLEN BY CPS HUGE RING THEY SELL CHILDREN SEX AND MORE -I GREW UP IN IT-FAMILY-GOVERNOR AND SHERIFF DIRTY CAREFUL VERY -MANY COPS DEAD I GET THEM SEAN DRENTH AND LARRY DEVER -MYRON CHISEM-A FEW DIED I THINK BECAUSE OF ME -READ MARKIE MC NIGHT WATCH SKULLS MOST LAYERS IN THIS TOWN ROGER MORRIS-ED NOVAK MOST PUBLIC DEFENDERS CPS-NEED NON DIRTY FBI JOHN SANDWEG FUCKED ME AND HIS DAD IS IN THE FBI READ MARKERRY SOLL CHILD KENNEDY KORY I NEED HER ASAP-SHE IS LIKE ME THEY WANT HER DOWN NAMED AFTER DARROW READPelican Brief Trailerwww.youtube.comFirst-rate legal thriller based on John Grisham's #1 bestseller. http://www.johngrishamonline.com
LikeLike ·  · Subscribe on YouTube · Share

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Let's just cut to the chase.

Everybody knows what caused it.

Everybody knows what it's going to take to fix it.

But the guy in the White House continues to milk it.

And the claim you care for the kids is a false one, and you know it.  It shows because you are angry.

This will not have a happy ending.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

"haunted by a letter-to-the editor in The Dallas Morning News recently from Octavio Tripp, consul general of Mexico,..."  If you are haunted by this, you have no business reporting on politics.  He's lying.  Plain and simple, read their law regarding immigraion and illegal immigration.

If you can't read these first links, there will soon be hundreds of people who might be able to help, and have little else to do, moving here.  But not in YOUR neighborhood, I'll bet, Jim.


http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/regley/Reg_LGP.pdf

http://2006-2012.sre.gob.mx/images/stories/marconormativodoc/ley06.pdf


Crib notes for you, because I know Observer writers hate actually researching facts:


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/03/mexicos-illegals-laws-tougher-than-arizonas/?page=all

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/11/opinion/navarrette-mexico-immigration-law/


Yes Jim, you're right.  We need to do whatever we can to humanely and sincerely help these kids through this situation.  (We also need to do something to control the situation and keep it from growing from a situation into a problem and then into an actual crisis.)  I don't view these kids as a problem, but an opportunity for America to show the world how great our country can really be, when we disregard the media (right and left), eschew politics (right and left) and just act like Americans (minus Disneyland).


But you're "haunting" by the words of a Mexican diplomat, is but an echo of the Right Wing Asshole quotes you are so determined to ridicule.  You are basically saying, "Listen to this guy and lets make our immigration policy like Mexico's."  Mexico does not have an immigration policy, they have a transportation policy; as in, let's transport all these undesirable immigrants North, and push them across the Rio Grande, where they'll be someone else's problem.

pak152
pak152

so how many illegal kiddoes will the folks on Swiss Avenue accept into their homes?

leftocenter
leftocenter

I'm not reading most of the hateful comments, although I do understand that that is the entire point for many of you and the reasoned and thoughtful comments are outliers (you know who you are).  Seriously the ugliness of racism -- whether against immigrants or Obama is sickening.

For me, I'm proud of Dallas and Jenkins.  I've had (racist) friends comment on Dallas bringing kids here with an exasperated "WHY?!?"

Jenkins, and for the most part the Metroplex, has rallied and faith-based groups are are being inundated by volunteers ready to sign up and help.  Being told to stand by.  People are rallying around doing right by these kids.

So my answer to my friend's question is, "because that's what Texans do."  And why is this person still my close friend?  Because that's what Texans do -- not let differences of opinion drive us apart. 

Cohesiveness built this state...The Alamo comes to mind.  THAT is what Texans do.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 I was haunted by a letter-to-the editor in The Dallas Morning News recently from Octavio Tripp, consul general of Mexico, in which he outlined Mexico's approach to its own southern border crisis, which included, "Formal and orderly crossing ... Encourage formal entry into Mexico and facilitate the acquisition of regional visitor cards for Guatemalans and Belizeans."


If we had a bunch of South Americans who virtually all just wanted to pass through our country on the way to Canada, I'm sure we would have no problem with the same policy.


Canada might have a problem with it, though.

DavidRoot
DavidRoot

@holmantx 

Hey Holman, I'm trying to figure out some of these numbers. DOJ temporarily stopped releasing asylee data after August 2013. It looks like it comes from an "internal DHS deport, leaked to and reported on by the Daily Caller". I believe the DOJ stopped reporting the data while it changed the way it categorized asylees. This could account for the jump in the numbers. 

It's also strange, because before the leak it was Malta that had the highest asylee acceptance rate in the world in 2013 at 84%. The exact same number.

As for the Obama and the immigration explosion, is it too soon to ask about the old correlation vs causation issue?

DavidRoot
DavidRoot

@miltrac I don't click on those shortened links, so I may have missed what you were trying to write. Colonization works after all? Wouldn't it sound condescending to tell someone from Pakistan or Haiti (or Taiwan or Korea for that matter) that their lives are better off because they were once colonies?

Davidroot
Davidroot

If you're angry then you don't really care about kids? Or if Obama is angry?

bippyizod
bippyizod

@pak152  I know the folks on Gaston are taking in 12.  The people on Treemont are taking in 5 but that is a much smaller street.


I should have my Swiss Ave. numbers complete by 5pm and will get back with you.

pak152
pak152

@leftocenter " I've had (racist) friends" how about using the correct term "bigoted" Hispanics are not a race and since they aren't a race one can't be a racist towards them

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@leftofcenter

Out of curiosity, I actually checked.

I could find no racist statements, or any hateful language directed at the border babies.

Perhaps you could point one out?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@leftocenter

And really, of all the comments here, yours is the one that goes directly to what  I was trying to ask in my own apparently not very clear way. The meme, the stereotype, the fill-in-the-blanks predictable story is the dumb-ass-rednecks-saying-stupid-shit story. But is that the story? Why isn't the story Jenkins and the very moving reaction of the faith community you reference. In fact nationally there seems to be a significant sentiment among evangelicals in favor of comprehensive humane immigration reform http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/evangelical-groups-call-for-path-to-citizenship-in-immigration-overhaul/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 

But mainstream media keep going back to the cheap and easy story, getting right-wing ass-holes to say right-wing ass-hole quotes. (No personal offense intended for any of the right-wing ass-holes here.)

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@DavidRoot @holmantx

Well then just do the best you can.

and no, it's not too soon to claim post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

you can invoke that anytime you want.

The President does it all the time.

He seems to reside in some level of constant mystification when it comes to the consequences of avoiding his sworn responsibilities.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Davidroot

We are most likely to get angry and excited in our opposition to some idea when we ourselves are not quite certain of our own position, and we are inwardly tempted to take the other side. - Thomas Mann

andypandy
andypandy

@pak152 @leftocenter  Race is a cultural construct that only exists so far as the culture that defines it believes it does (not dissimilar from gender).  Given that the US gov't (depending on the dept.) and a great many US American people define Hispanic as a race it does exist as such a construct.


Thank G-d for the recent increase in drilling technology, fracking, and horizontal drilling--if we can only train this influx of border babies to work a mud pump, lay casing, or operate a drill rig surely the magic of Texas' petrol based economy can provide them all jobs and continue to lift the American economy.

DavidRoot
DavidRoot

@pak152 @leftocenter Maybe they happened to be racist? He could have said "I've had (Vegan) friends who hated minorities"... That would have seemed a little off-topic, but maybe...

bippyizod
bippyizod

@JimSX  I consider myself a mauve neck but appreciate your comment.  It seems rare to me when positive stories about our city and state get out into mainstream America that are not about us fighting for the right to openly carry a arsenal to Walgren's.  Then when one comes along it gets overshadowed by those that find it necessary to remind those other folks the color of our necks.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@JimSX

Just for the hell of it...

"Do not send your children to the border, If they do make it, they'll get sent back."

-----President Obama, June 2014

"Federal immigration officials have granted asylum immediately upon request to 65 percent of the unaccompanied children who have arrived at the border in fiscal year 2014, according to House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.,)...

U.S. Customs and Immigration Services provided Goodlatte with the asylum data."

NRO - 7/18

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JimSX "the dumb-ass-rednecks-saying-stupid-shit "


You Texans have cultivated that meme -- often deliberately -- for decades, and cemented it for eternity when your native son George aWol Bush misruled and destroyed the nation during his 8 years of idiocy.


Reap what ye have sown!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II1zAObtwlM





DavidRoot
DavidRoot

@holmantx @DavidRoot I think there is a strong argument for what you're saying; that the announcement of the Dream Act got blown out of proportion in Central America and encouraged people to cross into the US in the hopes they'd receive amnesty. 

The only proof of that I would accept at this point is if a large number of people cited this as the reason for crossing without papers. I don't know how else you'd prove it without some serious statistical analysis.

DavidRoot
DavidRoot

@holmantx @Davidroot That sounds counter-intuitive or like some Zen koan. More reason to like it! It may help explain some of the vitriol from people protesting 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @JimSX When he gets around to saying something stupid in all 53 states, he'll be on par with Obama.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @JimSX

Please. George W. a Texan? You bought that shit? A Connecticut Andover/Yale blueblood puts on  a Stetson and walks crookedy, you think he's Sam Houston, I guess.  

AcuraC
AcuraC

@DonkeyHotay @JimSX


"your native son George aWol Bush misruled and destroyed the nation during his 8 years of idiocy."


George W Bu$h is a native of Connecticut, despite how much he wants to be a Texan.


You (and he) = Fail.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@DavidRoot

Cocktail hour.

LuAnnPlatter
LuAnnPlatter

@DonkeyHotay The more they suffer the more he loves them.  It is part of online persona non grata. 

Sad, as I have never seen a Cancer linger so long.  You would think the good Lord would not make us suffer for so long and just take him.  As far away from us where they have yet to discover the Internet.


Maybe Mineola.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

I see Cruz is joining Beck at the border, where Beck will deliver his two million dollars in contributions. Ted Nugent has made it known that he is ready to deliver the contributions from Hunter's organizations (which already furnish $250,000,000 meals yearly in the US).

Just to cheer you up.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

I see Cruz is joining Beck at the border, where Beck will deliver his two million dollars in contributions.

A big thanks to Beck, he has delivered needed help. Cruz can best be described as a "carpetbagger", or more accurate "hypocrite" for while he goes and stands beside Beck for photo ops helping the kids, he is attempting to stop allowing hearings to determine if the kids are refugees or need sanctuary.

Ted Nugent has made it known that he is ready to deliver the contributions from Hunter's organizations (which already furnish $250,000,000 meals yearly in the US).

You want to correct that statement? it makes zero sense.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@pak152

Pres. Barack Obama a black man? A privileged world-traveler/stoner/private-school beach boy who puts on a fake accent when speechifying to American blacks he only associates with for political purposes.

Not a fake cowboy, tho.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

You want to correct that statement? it makes zero sense.

Ted Nugent is going to the border with venison for the children.

I did not realize the post was in error

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@mavdog @TheRuddSki The Hunter's organization apparently delivers meals in the US, to the tune of a quarter million dollars annually.  In addition to that, it appears they are willing to donate on top of that to help the kids at the border.


What is so hard to understand about that?  Oh yeah, they're right wingers, right?  Destroys the narrative if they're actually human.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@RTGolden1 

thanks for the correction, that makes a lot more sense.

What is so hard to understand about that? Oh yeah, they're right wingers, right? Destroys the narrative if they're actually human.

uh, no, did you read what he wrote? "$250,000,000 meals"????

jeez, have a bad day?

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...