Our story this week on Sheriff Chuck Jenkins’ fact-finding trip to see firsthand the impact of a surge of cross-border immigrants in McAllen, Texas, and our follow-up on the group funding his travel, has landed the sheriff at the center of another dustup over his political views.

At issue is his acceptance of funding to make that journey from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which bills itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group, founded in 1979, which now has 250,000 members. FAIR, as it’s known, has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Set aside valid criticism that the SPLC has its own agenda, what is unequivocal here is FAIR was founded and is headed by two men whose past public statements were clearly racist.

We ran five of those statements with Wednesday’s story, so you can read them yourself. We won’t reiterate them verbatim here. In brief, it was the clichéd jeremiads of declining white power, the contradictory assumption that immigrants hate the U.S., and — relevant to the mission of today’s organization to slow mass immigration — protecting “Anglo-Saxon dominance” and the “European-American majority” from becoming a “minority status in their own land.” This hubris dates from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. John Tanton, FAIR’s founder, still serves as a board member. Dan Stein is the nonprofit’s current president. Do they still hold these beliefs? Well, your guess is as good as ours. FAIR’s present-day incarnation explicitly disavows racism and has committed itself, in its mission statement and other statements of purpose, to arguments against immigration that are not race-based.

Politics is often more about perception than reality. Whether or not Jenkins was aware FAIR was listed as a hate group before he allowed them to pay his way south is not clear. But he rejected the SPLC’s claims: “I don’t believe that myself,” he told News-Post reporter Grace Toohey. Even so, Tanton and Stein’s statements are part of the public record and were uncontested by a FAIR spokesman who instead, in a pot-meets-kettle moment, went on the offensive, labeling the SPLC “masters of name-calling” and “a far-left political attack machine.”

Whether you believe that means FAIR as it is constituted now should be designated a “hate group” or not, the views of its founders and leaders, which echo the sad, discredited ranting of white supremacists, don’t help FAIR’s claims of a being a legitimate voice in the immigration debate. We believe it’s fair to speculate, on the basis of those statements, about whether FAIR was founded by people hoping to legitimize white supremacy under the veneer of a respectable policy group devoted to the legitimate question of sensible immigration reform.

Speaking of motives, we can’t read Jenkins’ mind to discover why he chose to make this lengthy trek with seven other sheriffs to Texas. One of the stated reasons given us by sheriff’s office spokeswoman Jennifer Bailey was that this was a fact-finding trip to assess how the immigrant surge at the border will impact us here in Frederick County.

It’s hard to see what, if any, pertinent revelations this will bring home. This is more of a humanitarian crisis involving children than a question of illegal border crossing. But if it does, we hope Jenkins will share them — and we’re happy to make space for him on The News-Post’s opinion page to explain.

The other reason, from Jenkins himself, is that he made the journey because he serves on the immigration and border subcommittee of the National Sheriff’s Association. That would have been a good reason to take the trip, had Jenkins gone on his own time and dime or that of the association.

In accepting FAIR’s money and taking this trip, Jenkins needs to be mindful of guilt by association — that segments of the public will assume he supports the group, and, by extension, the beliefs at the root of FAIR’s founding. Maybe he doesn’t — but he needs to state it unequivocally.

The debate over immigration is large and complex and, sadly, victim to too much politics, emotionally charged demagoguery and not enough sense. Jenkins may have some intelligent ideas after his trip. He needs to bring them to the table and explain them plainly. Otherwise, this was just a high-profile campaign stunt to play off a high-profile human tragedy, one that is as offensive as it is distasteful.

(65) comments

KellyAlzan

People are not illegal. Behaviours can be illegal. People may have broken laws, they may not have the right documents for a particular activity, but people are not illegal.

Some examples of illegal behavior are:

1) using a county owned vehicle for political campaign purposes.

2) utilizing the services of prostitutes

3) engaging in extra marital affairs

4) leaving the Avalon under the influence of alcohol

KellyAlzan

No one seemed to care when an US Olymipc athlete recently brought dogs into the United States following the Olympics.

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chesapeakecountry

No such thing as reverse racism Deja. It's all the same thing whether you want to admit to it or not. By parsing words your type attempt to dismiss your own racism but the clear thinking can see it for what it is.

louie

Since this is personal interest of Chuck's, I sure hope he is required to use his vacation days for this little jaunt.

charlie211sfga

The banality of evil reminiscent in the defense of Jenkins and FAIR.

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whitemanfortyfour

I think you need to read lines 3&4??? [wink]

airsporter

What a despicable editorial. Given SPLC's criteria for "hate group," it would not be a stretch at all to label the FNP as a "hate group!" Basically, any organization not aligned with the ultra left-wing agenda is "labelled" as a "hate group." What a convenient way to dismiss the opposition (and maybe the truth)!

kjswartz

That's your opinion.
You can diminutize other people's efforts all you want.
It is easier to criticize than to create.

vrini66

If the purpose of the trip was fact finding, why are all the law enforcement officials republican male sheriffs who seem to hold homogenous views on this issue? Why not also partner with the International Police Association?

OFMV

Let's consider FAIR's atty, Kris Kobach for a minute, as his role is to transform the outrage and immigrant hate into legislation that benefits and profits private industry, to include ALEC's corporate members.

Take a look at the nationwide ties emanating from right here in Frederick, Maryland. I challenge you to stop by their multi-aka named media organization’s headquarters and restaurant on East street and ask Hilda Karamouz Staples & Jonathan Staples and Dennis Hoffman if they truly believe in the far right immigrant fear/hate agenda rhetoric they pander nationwide or if it's only about the millions in profits earned to reinvest locally in posh eateries and manipulate our local politics and public ordinances to suit their purposes.

Do you recall Kobach's May 12, 2011 visit to Frederick at the American Legion hosted by Commissioners Blaine Young, Kirby Delauter, Paul Smith and Billy Shreve, Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, Senator David Brinkley, Delegate Kelly Schulz, Delegate Michael Hough, State's Atty Charlie Smith and 'Greenmail' (a local mail-media group operating for profit in 35 states under numerous alias' owned by Hilda Karamouz Staples and Jonathan Staples, partners with Engage, Dennis Hoffman and All Saints Media.)

Did you know that 7 days later, All Saints Media rolled out a 'Securestates.org' webpage to solicit in 35 states from?

Did you know that in 2011, BoCC President Blaine Young reported to ethics an ownership in All Saints Media? The same company that created his campaign webpage and the majority of the candidates listed as hosting the event above; including our own State’s Attorney, Charlie Smith?

Who can we trust in Frederick County to take action against these unethical practices? Will we fall for their white nationalist founded and funded FAIR immigration fear tactics at the voting booth this fall?

OFMV

Blaine Young hosts and supports a call filled with mis-information and lies from John Tanton founded FAIR rep Bob Dane discussing Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and the Dream Act.

KarlBickel

You be the judge. Here is a quote of Sheriff's regarding crime spilling over from Baltimore into the suburbs and rural communities. Today's question is, who is he referring to as "these animals?"

Sheriff Chuck Jenkins of Frederick County, Md., said, “It’s not at all astonishing to me. We will continue to see lawless social chaos in our cities and it will eventually bleed out of the big cities into the rural areas. No one will admit that these animals will become increasingly bold in their violent acts. All of the law enforcement buildup in the world cannot control what will happen in cities like Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit and the like.”

Squeal, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Covert Letter, 7/5/13, http://blog.thecovertletter.com/2013/07/sequel-homicide-life-on-the-street

vrini66

Oh really. Is that why in 2009 the FNP published an article titled Frederic County had the fastest growing "Illegal" population, even though the Census Bureau data indicated Frederick county had the fastest growing Hispanic population?

corgikid

The guy who attacked the man at the Liberty gas station last week is an animal.

DaveSM

KarlBickel - please shave that silly mustache

chesapeakecountry

What a load of horse hooey. The FNP is written by democrats for democratic consumption to advance the democratic agenda. I'm not a democrat so after 22 years I have finally thrown in the towel on my FNP subscription. Why in the world would I pay someone to come into my home each day to insult my intelligence? It's really pathetic that the only card the Obama's supporters have left in which to defend him is the race card. His is a failed presidency of epic proportions and race has nothing to do with either his or Jenkins results.

kjswartz

If that's your OPINION, why are you reading it?

chesapeakecountry

For the entertainment factor I get out of the comment section.....[beam]

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kjswartz

Your good buddy, Blaime Young, is selling 15,000 properties to people like me. It's too late to send people away - the barbarians are knocking on YOUR gates demanding to be let in.

Pretty amusing offer.

Chardonnay with a beer chaser?

emuumuumuu

Good riddance! You won't be missed.

chesapeakecountry

Don't worry, I will continue to read and comment on this free online version as I feel the urge.....[beam]

fnfn

Almost ALL of any "failures" of our President can be laid at the feet of those that plotted to do everything they could to make him fail. To ruin our credit and stop our government. To vote down romneycare so many times without fixing ANYTHING.

Anyone supporting that kind of creating epic proportions intentionally deserves any failures they reap from their sowing.

Boss Hogg

Armillary - I enjoy your poetic wit and even tried it myself with some posts in the past. But I have now lost respect for your opinions. Your racist depiction of Jenkins is undignified. People who center political arguments on race have no argument and demonstrate their true colors in doing so.

Boss Hogg

This is a good editorial with valid points. I'm a republican but will not vote for Jenkins or the blaniacs this time around.

Having said that, I do support and appreciate Jenkins' efforts to keep illegal aliens out of Frederick county. Maryland is a sanctuary state, and Montgomery county a sanctuary county right in our back yard. The federal government last week wanted to bus illegal aliens into Westminster - also in our backyard. This problem is far more pervasive than people think. It is all around us.

People mention human trafficking and drugs as problems facing us here in Frederick county. Those are most likely the issues that Jenkins is fact finding on so he knows how to prevent it from coming here or getting worse. He is doing the right thing.

Illegal immigration was a hot button issue for me years ago, and I researched the SPLC then. If memory serves, they are far from angelic. They are a far left wing radical group that labels everyone who doesn't agree with them a racist. There are pro illegal immigrant groups like La Raza (the race) and Casa (Central American solidarity association) de Maryland that are equally as racist as some have accused FAIR of being. The SPLC supports these groups. So it really bothers me when people don't see both sides of an issue.

Finally, I wonder how many people would approve of buses full of illegal aliens being dropped of in Frederick city, many of whom are sick with communicable diseases and are victims of human trafficking? How many people are willing to contact the Red Cross and take these people and children into their own homes? Be honest with yourselves, please.

kjswartz

Housing, treating, educating, litigating and then repatriating illegal immigrant children is a GROWTH industry, with excellent revenue sources from multiple governments. There are major dollars to be made by local companies.

Instead, old hatreds and imagined horrors from plagues-long-past rule the day.

girlpolitic

The sheriff currently claims to "make money" by housing detainees for ICE from locations outside Frederick County. Maybe he is investigating "housing some of the children" in Frederick County to make money.

stuckon270

Is FAIR a hate group, I don't know I don't have the evidence to support that either way. Apparently the SPLC thinks it does. Lets see this. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/28/editorial-the-fbi-dumps-a-hate-group/

Crustybachelor

Citing anything out of "The Washington Times" is useless. It is owned by the "Moonies". They have a very clear biased political agenda.

kjswartz

Do a google search on SPLC federation for American immigration reform

Here's the URL:

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/federation-for-american-immigration-reform-fair

SPLC has a major problem with their funding (in the 80s) and with their leadership over the past 35 years. FAIR is quite unfair and skewed in presenting the facts, with the intent that gross exaggeration better illustrates the risk to the populace.

Is this fact finding trip Sheriff Jenkins is taking a horse & pony show, a tantalizing burlesques of skewed opinions from an entity with an agenda to a willing and receptive sheriff? Hard to believe that FAIR is spending money with uncertain possibility of returns on their investment.

jerseygrl42

Your headline was unprofessional and this in no way explains it away, the fact that SPLC calls FAIR a hate group does NOT mean they are a hate group, and in fact SPLC is a hate group as indicated by several other groups ....so why do you not indicate that too are "listed"The issue here really is the fact that our federal govt is supposed to enforce the laws on the books and they choose NOT to do so and you have nothing to say about that for some strange reason; if they would do so we would NOT have 12 million people living here illegally, we would not have 36,000 felons released from jail by obama after committing rapes and murders , 86,000 crimes in all and we would nOT have the current border crisis...all brought to the American citizens and taxpayers who have to shoulder the cost for this ineptitude ....why do you hide from this issue???

banff99

The headline is absolutely accurate and also would apply to people like you.There is not reason to act with such hatred and prejudice for people seeking a better life. Thought is how American began. We maybe approaching our capacity to welcome immigrants, but there is no reason act in the manner your tone suggest of hatred and bitterness. America is still great and the rest of the world knows it that's why they want to come here. Nothing wrong with that.

infrederick

What shows FAIR to be a racist organization are the public statements of their leaders. Jenkins made a mistake taking money from a racist organization. He needs to apologize and repay the money. Will he? Is he upright enough and man enough to admit when he has made a bad mistake?

chesapeakecountry

Using your and the FNP's analogy the NAACP is also a racist organization. Should Obama also apologize and return the money they donated on his behalf?

emuumuumuu

You're one of those "reverse racism" yahoos, aren't you?

chesapeakecountry

No such thing as reverse racism emu. It's all the same thing whether you want to admit to it or not. By parsing words your type attempt to dismiss your own racism but the clear thinking can see it for what it is.

fnfn

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128303672

"The law granted amnesty to nearly 3 million illegal immigrants, yet was largely considered unsuccessful because the strict sanctions on employers were stripped out of the bill for passage."

Guess which GOP took out the strict sanctions?

armillary

What our sheriff should be asking himself is whether he wants to be the poster boy for an organization whose founders advocate white supremacy and eugenics. Sheriff Jenkins prototypical Nordic Aryan appearance and his anti-immigration stance match their ideals, so you can be sure they will try to get as much mileage out of him as they can.

swimrun2

Alzan... Again you make things up.

KellyAlzan

I wish I was makin things up, swimrun. Unfortunately, what I wrote is 100% factual. Jenkins hired a personal family friend as a political payback for campaigning for him. This friend with a past of violence then turned violent to a confined family pet on its own stomping ground. Jenkins also used his county owned cruiser to campaign at carnivals and used it to participate in debates in 2006. One carnival (Thurmont I believe) had a sign up that read "no parking" "emergency vehicle only". So what does Jenkins do? he parks his cruiser there!!! And he was there solely campaigning. What if it was your mother who suffered a heart attack and needed medical attention??

Just some facts of the judgement that Jenkins lacks

KellyAlzan

In 2006 on the FNP Forums (forums, not comments) was a person whom posted via his real name, Timothy Brooks. He defended Jenkins and defended Jenkins all day and all night. I'm thinking swimrun IS mr. Brooks

swimrun2

It's obvious the FNP has a strong position against Jenkins. It's a good thing their opinion will only count for a couple of voters. FNP is making something out of nothing. Jenkins for Sheriff!

infrederick

Right, lets re-elect a man who insists on self investigation when his deputies kill citizens. For me and a lot of other people that is the sticking point. No sheriff should have a policy of avoiding impartial outside investigation when his deputies kill people. Sheriff Jenkins has insisted on internal investigation instead of calling in outside experts for every case when his deputies have killed. Doing so disqualifies him from office.

jpsell

I don't believe Chuck Jenkins needs a "political stunt" to be re elected.
I admire his willingness to uproot his life to travel to Texas to see the truth. God knows the media is not reporting the extent of what is transpiring.
The SPLC has to appeal to the rich liberal trust funders for financial assistance. Labeling anyone who disagrees with them as "racists" helps keep their financing
coming along..
This is really a nothing burger of a story, just an opportunity for the FNP
and their middle school level editorialsts to stay relevant. Which, judging by their circulation figues, aint happening.
.

fnfn

See the truth, on a junket paid by those that know not the truth?

railroad79

Who is the "FNP editorial board" ?

GMrT

Great editorial that asks questions of, and offers space for answers from Chief Jenkins.

I bet he wishes he had just paid his own way. A lesson for all politicians that probably won't be heeded.

Dwasserba

"Politics and Perception" would've "said it" for the headline.
Is this a new style addressed to short attention spans or something?
Has the Sheriff learned to administer naproxolene (per another article)? This training was free and unfortunately could affect more kids here than we'd like to admit.

KellyAlzan

Quote:
Otherwise, this was just a high-profile campaign stunt to play off a high-profile human tragedy, one that is as offensive as it is distasteful.

response:

Jenkins has an inability to exhibit tasteful decision making. Let's keep in mind that prior to Jenkins being elected sheriff, he never was involved in making key decisions for/with the FCSO.

Some examples are:

1) during his campaign in 2006 Jenkins used his county owned, fueled, insured, and maintained cruised for campaign purposes. This is clearly stated in the General Order of not being allowed. SOURCE: Kelly Alzan and many FCSO deputies

2) a law enforcement agency will usually not hire an individual with a questionable personal background. This is to prevent embarrassment on behalf of the agency in the event the individual should get him/herself into trouble. Jenkins hired family friend for position of sworn deputy whom on his MD Court Case file had domestic violence data. Months later the deputy then shot a fenced in Labrador retriever who was barking at him. The deputy was not even within the same fence as the dog. This resulted in the FCSO losing a hefty lawsuit. Poor decision making of Jenkins to exercise.
SOURCE: FNP

3) The tough Mudder event and Jenkins refused to assist with directing traffic on roads within the county of which he was elected to serve. This resulted in snarled traffic for hours. He failed his community. And keep in mind - the city residents pay county taxes :)

4) Jenkins for two yrs has provided private biz entity, 'The Great Frederick Fair', an organization with a profit, with free security. I estimate that this cost approx $80,000. Tax payer subsidized. A profitable organization can buy their own security at full market value. And hay, the great Frederick fair is in the city :)

teacherdbc

Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement: https://www.facebook.com/groups/231315876992373/

fnfn

The Tough Mudder was the worst traffic mess I have been in, in 60 years.

kjswartz

It's the ole "Free Vacation/Timeshares Sales" shtick.

FAIR supposedly ought the ticket, but are they providing the sales team as well?

robberttjohnson

IF what sheriff's office spokeswoman Jennifer Bailey said was true, i.e., that this is a fact-finding trip to assess how the immigrant surge at the border will impact us here in Frederick County, THEN there is no reason for the sheriff to secure funding from a special interest group, especially one that specializes in neo-Nazi white supremacist type Latino hatred. The fact that he did indicates Ms.Bailey's statements are incorrect.

Jenkins' words and actions over the last few years show a very clear pattern that he is closely aligned with the statements of FAIR's founders. You must judge him in this regard from his words and actions over the last few years, when no one was looking very hard, and not on the words he spits out right after he is caught red-handed.

teacherdbc

Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement: https://www.facebook.com/groups/231315876992373/

Ed Morgan

A pattern is developing. A story, a letter from karl bickel and an editorial, all scripted by the FNP to castigate Sheriff Jenkins.

Soak, wash, rinse, repeat. Oops, I left out "spin". But, then you knew that already, didn't you.

shiftless88

A bit of sunshine on this story sure pisses you off, doesn't it! This is a legitimate complaint and Jenkins' supporters should be annoyed at him for doing this and making them go on defense.

Dwasserba

I agree that the "sunshine" is called for but you have to admit that the comment was amusing.

armillary

It got a smile out of me!

eyelounge

Procommunity doesn't get it: the issues stemming from illegal immigration that face towns like Brownsville, Texas is vastly different from the immigration issues that face communities in the mid-Atlantic region. Border towns are finding ways to keep their US residents safe from drugs and gangs coming over the border. In Frederick, the impact of illegal immigrants is far, FAR less dangerous.

Jenkins should look at other critical issues first, like the heroin epidemic or even human trafficking -- which is an issues often overlooked but which, nonetheless, is real. The amount of young girls who are trafficked through Frederick County and are being forced into the sex trade is despicable.

The big problem with all of this is that Jenkins is allowing his political leanings and personal ideology get in the way of providing safe and objective policing of our county.

teacherdbc

Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement: https://www.facebook.com/groups/231315876992373/

procommunity

I think that our Sheriff getting the opportunity to see first hand what is going on in Texas is relevant as we here in Frederick have our own substantial amount of Illegal residents. Perhaps the Sheriff can gain insight on how to address issues facing our town from the influx of such persons. I am an independent that moved to Frederick because of the quaint country feel and the people that helped keep it that way. This article helped me to make my decision to vote for Jenkins! Thanks.

kjswartz

Are you saying, after Sheriff Chuck Jenkins' hard work, we still have a large illegal population taking up permanent residence? Doesn't sound very effectual.

banff99

I think he means Jenkins is looking for tips of how to stop the influx of Montgomery county residents to Frederick. I'm still trying to find the Maryland/Mexico boarder crossing but google maps can't seem to locate it.

vrini66

Can you quantity "substantial" Illegal residents?

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