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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    Group has 125 trained to watch along border

    Group has 125 trained to watch along border

    By Leslie Berestein
    September 17, 2005

    An anti-illegal-immigration group calling itself Friends of the Border Patrol has officially kicked off what it says will be an indefinite series of patrols along the California border, although its organizer said yesterday that between 30 and 40 participants have been secretly monitoring the area since June as part of their training.

    "We've been out there unceremoniously," said organizer Andy Ramirez. He said participants were on private property between June and August.

    Now that roughly 125 people have been trained, Ramirez, a Chino resident and onetime political aspirant, said they are ready to start. After a training session today, participants in the latest border-watch event to hit the San Diego area will begin watching for illegal border crossers. They will stage their operations on private property along a roughly 100-mile stretch of the border in San Diego and Imperial counties.

    Yesterday, Ramirez held a news conference near the border fence in San Ysidro, flanked by a handful of participants and supporters.

    "They will be merely doing one thing," said Ramirez, 37. "Observing the northbound traffic and calling the Border Patrol."

    Ramirez at times had to strain to be heard above the noise from a much larger group of protesters nearby, some dancing to a mariachi band as they waved signs and a Mexican flag, others chanting, "Vendido!" (sellout).

    A third-generation Mexican-American, Ramirez said he chose Sept. 16 – Mexican Independence Day – to launch his event not as "a slap in the face," but to make a point about Mexico's not providing for its citizens, whom he said he is trying to ultimately help.

    However, the mostly Latino protesters down the street, who contrasted with the all-white crowd flanking Ramirez, had their own opinions about the border watchers' motivations.

    "For us, they are a bunch of opportunists," said Jose Bravo, 42. "I think it is xenophobia, but at the same time, I think they are capitalizing on the nation's fear."

    Ramirez twice ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for state Assembly in the mid-1990s. Although he says he doesn't plan to run again just yet, he has said he would consider running for federal office. Aside from his activism, he is not employed.

    While the Border Patrol officially does not condone civilian border watches, two men who were present yesterday identified themselves as former Border Patrol agents.

    Other supporters included Donna Tisdale, a Boulevard resident who has long complained about illegal traffic on her property, and Ron Prince, co-author of Proposition 187, a 1994 state initiative to bar undocumented immigrants from public services. Voters approved the measure, but the courts struck it down.

    Some San Diego County residents have voiced support for border-watch groups, including one called California Minutemen. That group spent three weeks patrolling around Campo earlier this summer and returned there briefly this week.

    But many others have not. A recent Field Poll showed that a majority of California voters do not approve of civilians taking it upon themselves to guard the border. Earlier this month, city leaders in Calexico, where Ramirez's operation will reach, passed a resolution condemning civilian patrols.

    A large protest is expected today in Calexico.

    His effort has faced skepticism from the leadership of the local Border Patrol union.

    Friends of the Border Patrol could face the threat of legal action, as well, and not just to participants but to property owners whose land they use.

    Ramirez distributed letters earlier this summer to border property owners, seeking to patrol on their land, a strategy he has said is for safety reasons and to dispel protesters. But this could prove hazardous for those who host them if someone is injured, said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., which recently won a lawsuit against an Arizona group known as Ranch Rescue.

    The group was sued, along with a Texas rancher owner hosting its members, after two Salvadoran nationals were assaulted as they tried to cross through the rancher's property. The rancher settled for $100,000, but the Ranch Rescue member accused of assaulting the pair lost his 70-acre property in Arizona. It was awarded to the Salvadorans.

    "This can be very dangerous to ranchers indeed," Potok said. "They can't control these people. They think they are doing the right thing, but more often than not, they are inviting people onto their land who are filled with conspiracy theories, bigotry, and are armed to the teeth."

    Earlier this week, legal organizations opposed to the border watch took out advertisements in community papers throughout the California border region to warn property owners of potential liability.

    Ramirez said that the only armed participants will be active or retired law enforcement. Last weekend, some participants received a safety orientation from the Border Patrol, which an agency spokesman said was done only as a precaution.

    San Diego sector Border Patrol spokesman Sean Isham said there would be no change in Border Patrol operations due to the border watchers' presence.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    "This can be very dangerous to ranchers indeed," Potok said. "They can't control these people. They think they are doing the right thing, but more often than not, they are inviting people onto their land who are filled with conspiracy theories, bigotry, and are armed to the teeth
    Excuse me.I take exception to this paragraph. Thusly: 'Conspiracy theories'??? How is conspiracy a theory when we are absolutely inundated with illegals of every type invading this country 24/7? Where is the 'theory' in that? It's an established FACT.

    Bigotry? Let's deal with that. If wanting our borders secure and folks immigrating here only thru legal channels and in compliance with federal laws, then I join the ranks of the bigots. Willingly and knowingly join them.

    Next, there's 'armed to the teeth'. Okay. So, these human traffickers and drug traffikers are NOT armed? These coyotes are NOT armed? Federales have NOT shot across our borders? Does anyone believe that more live rounds have gone south than north? What's going on here? Does that mean that Mexican nationals on our soil have a RIGHT to be armed....and no finds THAT alarming? Tell me, who would you rather run across in the dark, an armed border watcher, or an armed drug smuggler??

    The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed. " - Lloyd Jones

  3. #3
    JackSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    see how this guy gets called Vendido? Sell out? See the victim mentality of the Hispanic protesters? Who are the true racists here?

    I wish I could join the Minutemen too!

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