With up to 500 undocumented Central American immigrants, many of whom are teenagers, taking temporary residence near Maypearl, the time has come for us to do what great communities do. Specifically, the time has come for:

• Every public official in the county to lead. I commend the efforts made by most. I commend State Representative John Wray especially. Mr. Wray’s approach is exactly what we need. Effective leaders provide calm guidance, accurate information and real solutions. They are in it to serve people and don’t have an insatiable desire to be seen and heard.

• Every citizen to recognize that no amount of vitriol on social networks is going to change one bit of what’s happening. Personally attacking others with bitterness and hate about a matter of this kind of significance doesn’t advance our ability to handle it right. We’re dealing with the Obama doctrine up-close and personal and should deal with it like the extraordinary community we are.

• Us to realize that most of these immigrants are, in fact, children. One could argue about what 17 year olds are capable of but the truth is, we don’t know. Our life experiences determine our perspectives yet the vast majority of us have never lived in poor, dangerous Central American towns. To panic over what these kids may or may not do ignores the amount of attention, both from a security standpoint and one of compassion, they will receive. It’s not like these are unchecked, adult men from Syria who can roam the streets freely.

• People to quit blaming public officials who had no notice of this before this past Tuesday. For any constable or commissioner to run around town blaming the county judge for anything related to this is shameful and gives further credibility to the notion that real leadership is lacking in some areas. We expect those in county government to act like adults and to leave the tough talk at home. It’s a bit foolish to blame someone with whom you have a personal axe to grind. Just lead.

• Us to observe the passion the North Texas District Assemblies of God have for the helpless. We are told by a loving God to care for those less fortunate and we should. We should just do it wisely, responsibly and with 360-degree awareness. These children will be cared for by those at Lakeview. Our job is support Lakeview in the process.

• Us to realize that, as it stands now, the federal government will foot the bill. This should not cost the county a dime.

• Us to understand the length of stay is set at 21 days. That’s the commitment the government and the non-profit group have made. If that period of time is extended, we will tell you the minute we know.

• All municipalities to support one another. I can assure you that the city of Waxahachie, led by its mayor and mayor pro-tem are committed to helping Ellis County. So is the police department if necessary. The passion to help runs deep.

Let’s stand tall, Ellis County and do this right. Regardless of the hand you think we’ve been dealt, let’s play it well and do what a caring community in Texas should do – support the efforts at Lakeview while supporting one another. We’re dealing with the policies of a wayward president and we have no say in it. The only choice we have is how we do it.

And the only way to do it is right.

 

Scott Brooks serves as the publisher of the Waxahachie Daily Light. Contact Scott at 469-517-1440 or by email at sbrooks@waxahachietx.com. Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottBrooks1405