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  1. #1
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    Minuteman Group Growing, Gaining Clout

    Minuteman group monitoring border is growing, gaining clout
    Push to slow illegal immigration not as volatile as expected
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Tuesday, December 20, 2005


    TUCSON, Ariz.

    The Minuteman Project was started earlier this year amid fears that racist crackpots would rough up illegal immigrants trying to slip into this country.

    But there was no bloodshed when the hundreds of volunteers converged in the Arizona desert in April to watch for border crossers and report them to immigration authorities.

    Since then, the Minuteman movement has taken hold, with Minuteman-inspired organizations started in several states. One of the movement's co-founders made a surprisingly strong showing in a bid for Congress earlier this month in California. Even critics of the movement acknowledge that its participants are not all bigots or extremists.

    Attention surrounding immigration problems helped attract "a fairly broad cross-section of middle Americans," said Mark Potok, the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, which monitors hate groups. "This is partly driven by politicians falling all over each other over an issue that they feel had some real resonance."

    Potok said, "There are real strains of racism and anti-Semitism in this movement." Still, "the movement has attracted people who are not Klansmen or neo-Nazis."

    The Minuteman Project was the brainchild of Jim Gilchrist, a retired accountant from Orange County, Calif., who recruited participants through the Internet.

    The idea, project organizers said, was partly to draw attention to problems on the Arizona-Mexico border, the most porous stretch of the 2,000-mile southern border.

    The group said that about 900 people showed up for the April project. Schoolteachers and retired veterans, businessmen and former corporate executives, some of them armed, parked their pickups and RVs along a dusty, rutted road near Naco, sitting in lawn chairs with binoculars to look for anyone trying to slip illegally into the country.

    Organizers said that the volunteers' calls helped lead authorities to about 330 illegal immigrants. Critics - the U.S. Border Patrol among them - said that the Minutemen were a nuisance.

    Among other things, officials said, the volunteers disrupted Border Patrol operations by unwittingly tripping sensors that alert agents to intruders.

    Nevertheless, the Minuteman Project succeeded in drawing attention to illegal immigration.

    In October, still more volunteers repeated the exercise in other states on the Mexican and Canadian borders. Chris Simcox, one of the movement's co-founders, said that 36 new chapters had formed by mid-November.

    "It has moved into politics on the local, state and federal level, what we hope is in every district in this country," Simcox said. "We mean business."

    On Dec. 6, Gilchrist, a former Republican running as a third-party candidate in a special House election in Orange County, Calif., finished a strong third with 25 percent of the vote.

    "It was a clear sign from grass-roots organizations that politicians ought to pay attention to the illegal-immigration issue," Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College, said at the time.

    Gilchrist said he had hoped that his showing could push federal immigration policy to the forefront in next year's congressional races and influence the 2008 presidential race. Many people in the district, about two hours from the Mexican border, have been frustrated with the growing population of illegal immigrants.

    Dan Stein, the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates limits on immigration, said that the Minuteman Project reflects a visceral reaction to the "national intrusion" by illegal immigrants.

    This story can be found at: http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satel ... 8768818202
    "POWER TENDS TO CORRUPT AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY." Sir John Dalberg-Acton

  2. #2
    Senior Member LegalUSCitizen's Avatar
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    Thank God For The Minuteman Project !

    It's to them who we really owe our deepest appreciation to. Christmas is a good time to give contributions too !! We should remember those who do so much for us to make our lives better.

    They do deserve the Medal of Freedom, you know ? Someday I seriously believe they will get it.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3

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    Among other things, officials said, the volunteers disrupted Border Patrol operations by unwittingly tripping sensors that alert agents to intruders.
    Actually, it was a bunch of ACLU Jr. law students who did that purposely.

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    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  5. #5
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    The article is inaccurate in one aspect..it says that no blood was shed...and actually blood has been shed...but it was the blood of the MinuteMen and not the illegals.

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

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