To the Editor,

My name is Max Mills and I am a current senior at the University of Texas at Austin, but a longtime resident of Ellis County. I wish that I did not have to write this letter, but I feel that it is my moral calling to do so.

Yesterday evening, Constable Mike Jones wrote an inflammatory political tirade on his public Facebook page “Constable Mike Jones.” The status was a reaction to the surge of South American refugee children coming to North Texas and, in particular, Ellis County. He notes how we should “be moving them closer to the border so we can kick their butts back across the Rio Grande.” Again, most of these refugees are children. He writes that “I am told these illegal immigrants are NOT Syrians, but are South Americans! Are you kidding me? Are we supposed to believe anything the Obama Administration tells us?” Jones then concludes with more alarmist and incendiary rhetoric:

“My advice to everyone is to remain vigilant, and to carry your weapon at all times. Ellis County Law Enforcement (My Office Included) will be on a heighten State of Alert to provide a safety net for our citizens, We will increase patrolling in the affected areas you guys. Please pass this information along to everyone you know. Do not hesitate to call 911 if you suspect something is going on. Let us check it out. Meanwhile we will be working hard to get these folks out of Ellis County... Law Enforcement wasn’t told until late this afternoon, but apparently the County Judge knew yesterday, but never told the Sheriff.”

When several of my friends and I posted on his status, we were met not with constructive dialogue, but instead with insults from the constable. One such comment read: “Hey bonehead! It wasn’t a news story yet!”

Constable Mike Jones’ inarticulable grunts have been heard before. The Dallas Morning News has a headline dating from earlier in October of this year: “Ellis County Constable explains what he meant by ‘rock monkeys in the Middle East.’” See: http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2015/10/ellis-county-constable-explains-what-he-meant-by-rock-monkeys-in-the-middle-east.html/

It is an absolute shame that Constable Mike Jones represents Ellis County. His words are xenophobic, reactionary and unprofessional. I realize that there are First Amendment protections, but as a public official, his words reflect the very worst things about Ellis County. I do not want such a person representing me or my interests in Ellis County. His words do not make me feel more safe. I actually feel more in danger knowing that a constable and his posse will engage me with threatening language.

I urge the citizens of Ellis County to show compassion and empathy for these refugee children. We cannot begin to comprehend the struggles they are going through. We must show them, and the rest of the world, that Ellis County is a safe space. As Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matthew 25:25-36).”

Max Mills

UT-Austin student

from Ellis County