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  1. #1
    Senior Member dman1200's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    South Carolina

    2,000 volunteers expected for Minuteman Project ... %2C00.html

    2,000 volunteers expected for Minuteman Project


    On a 23-mile stretch where the Sonoran desert rolls into the border of the United States some Inland Valley residents will take part in one the largest neighborhood watch programs in history.

    The Minuteman Project, lead by Jim Gilchrist is expected to draw more than 2,000 volunteers and supporters from 50 states. The group will patrol an area known as the Tucson sector, between the United States and Mexico, in an attempt to stop illegal immigrants from crossing into the country.

    Securing the nations borders is a contentious issue that has divided the country in the past year but the Sept. 11 attacks brought the issue to the forefront making it a top priority for most Americans, said Robin Hvidston, of Upland, who plans on patrolling the border with her friends for the first 10 days of the month-long project.

    This is not about racism it's about security, Hvidston said.

    ``This is a message to the administration that the American people overwhelmingly want our borders secure,'' Hvidston said. ``The administration is willfully under staffing our border patrol agency. Literally anyone from around the globe can come in and take residence as they see fit including human smugglers, drug runners, and terrorists.''

    The 370-mile long stretch of the Mexico Arizona border is considered the least protected border in the nation with too few Border Patrol agents to secure it. And as recent as late February, James Loy, deputy secretary of Homeland Security, announced that al Qaeda terrorist would likely use the Mexican border to enter the country based on US intelligence reports.

    Open borders have fueled the April 1 project where volunteers ranging in age from 21 to 75, hope to shed light on the issue, they say. The crowd will meet in Tombstone prepared with cell phones to contact border patrol agents when illegal immigrants are spotted and water to help immigrants who may be stranded in the desert. Their presence is an effort to deture illegal immigrants from trying to cross the border, said David Heppler, who heads security for the Minuteman group.

    But some human rights organizations aren't so sure.

    The National Alliance of Human Right's plans to station protests on both sides of the border, said Armando Navarro, coordinator of the group and a UC Riverside professor.

    Some of the volunteers joining Gilchrist's project are nothing more than a militia organizers, Navarro said. The ``Bi-national Mobilization Action Strategy,'' organized by Navarro and other Latino activists, is considered a Mexican Latino response to the Minuteman project.

    However, Navarro worries that the April patrols could escalate to violence forcing strained relations between the two very different groups to completely sever.

    ``My greatest fear is that essentially violence at the border...could unleash a furry of further conflict and further alienation between the races in the country,'' Navarro said. ``This could be a powder keg situation.''

    Navarro worries that some Minuteman volunteers will take the law into their own hands endagering the lives of innocent civilians when the issue should be resolved in Washington.

    Organizers of the patrol say the Bush Administration has done little to quell the millions of illegal immigrants who cross the neglected borders every year and that their presence is necessary.

    ``We are preparing for up to 2,000 volunteers and family,'' Heppler said. ``We're working really closely with local and federal law enforcement and don't expect to see any violence.''
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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Robin is on of our die hard activists. We are very lucky to have many like her who will get away from the computer and go out into the streets and make their voices heard.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    If he wants to be really useful, Mr. Navarro should advise the illegals to stay in Mexico.

    ``My greatest fear is that essentially violence at the border...could unleash a furry of further conflict and further alienation between the races in the country,'' Navarro said. ``This could be a powder keg situation.''

    The issue is with illegals, not "the races." Enforce immigration laws!

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