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  1. #1

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    'Minuteman' organizers depart from Oceanside 4 AZ border

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    'Minuteman' organizers depart from Oceanside for Arizona border
    By: EDWARD SIFUENTES - Staff Writer

    OCEANSIDE ---- Packed with lawn chairs, a portable grill and other camping gear, Jim Chase of Oceanside and Jim Gilchrist of Orange County left Oceanside on Tuesday morning, headed for a 20-mile stretch of the Arizona-Mexico border for a controversial monthlong stakeout.

    Were it not for their destination, it might appear the two friends were headed for a camping vacation.

    The two 50-something, Vietnam veterans are the organizers of the Minuteman Project, a group of civilians that claims to have recruited more than 1,000 volunteers from across the country to meet in the Arizona desert and report illegal immigrants to authorities.

    "I wish I didn't have to do this," Chase said sitting at an Oceanside McDonald's holding a cup of coffee in the brisk, early morning. "I want to be relaxed and retired."

    Harmless as the men may have seemed as they prepared for their stint with the Minuteman Project, the border watch group has raised concerns among some human and immigrant rights groups.

    Immigrant advocates liken the Minuteman Project to vigilante groups because some of the volunteers plan to carry guns, which is legal in Arizona, and because the link to the group's Web site has appeared on some white supremacist Internet sites.

    "This is not a game," said Armando Navarro, a UC Riverside professor who heads a coalition of rights groups planning to counter the Minuteman Project. "This is serious."

    Navarro and about 20 representatives of various Southern California immigrant advocacy groups met Saturday in Riverside to plan a series of events aimed at opposing the Minuteman Project. The group is organizing a vigil, a rally and a group of observers to note any potential rights violations during the Minuteman Project's monthlong patrol in Arizona.

    Since the mid-1990s, much of the illegal immigrant traffic has shifted from California to Arizona as border enforcement efforts have focused on San Diego and Imperial counties.

    Of the 1.1 million illegal immigrants caught by the U.S. Border Patrol last year, about half entered the United States through Arizona, according to immigration authorities.

    Chase, however, said there are still many illegal immigrants coming through the California border. He fears, as some federal officials have suggested, that terrorists might use the same routes that illegal immigrants take to come into the country undetected.

    After the Minuteman Project, Chase said he will focus his attention on the California border. He said he hopes to recruit volunteers to duplicate the effort in eastern San Diego County later this year.

    Christian Ramirez, San Diego director of the human rights group American Friends Service Committee, said his organization is preparing to take about 20 volunteers from San Diego County to participate in events against the Minuteman Project.

    Ramirez, who was at Saturday's meeting with Navarro and other groups, said he questions the Minuteman Project's motives.

    "They are adjusting to the reality of political correctness," he said, suggesting that the group's true motivation is racism. "In the past, they were much more clear that they were anti-Mexican. Now it's not so clear."

    The organizers of the border-watch group reject the label that they are racist, saying that there are many women and people of color among their ranks. Gilchrist and others said that the group's aim is border security.

    "I get so much hate mail about hunting Mexicans and killing Mexicans," Gilchrist said shortly before leaving. "It's not about hunting Mexicans. It's about the rule of law."

    Gilchrist said he was not sure how many of the more than 1,000 volunteers will actually participate. Only he, Chase and two other volunteers were at the Oceanside fast-food restaurant.

    Immigrant and human rights activists said they plan to leave in small groups from San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Mexico's Foreign Relations Department also weighed in Tuesday, saying that Mexican consulates in Arizona will file criminal complaints against any illegal detentions of its citizens by volunteers of the so-called Minuteman Project.
    "This country has lost control of its borders. And no country can sustain that kind of position." .... Ronald Reagan

  2. #2
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    This story is biased against the MMP, IMHO.
    Join our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & to secure US borders by joining our E-mail Alerts at http://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverYoung
    This story is biased against the MMP, IMHO.
    Biased? It just gives the positions of all the parties and exposes the foolishness of the opposition.

    Always good to know what your enemy is saying about you .... even when they're obviously wrong.
    "This country has lost control of its borders. And no country can sustain that kind of position." .... Ronald Reagan

  4. #4

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    Re: 'Minuteman' organizers depart from Oceanside 4 AZ border

    Quote Originally Posted by watchman

    "This is not a game," said Armando Navarro, a UC Riverside professor who heads a coalition of rights groups planning to counter the Minuteman Project. "This is serious."

    Navarro and about 20 representatives of various Southern California immigrant advocacy groups met Saturday in Riverside to plan a series of events aimed at opposing the Minuteman Project.

    Hmm, a UC Riverside professor and 20 others against 2 Vietnam vets and 1000 others. Why even bother?

    I have heard bits and pieces from Minutemen on this site and another and they all plan on showing up. I think (hope) if anything there will be more down there than the 1022 stated on the MM website.

    [/quote]

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    Armed Volunteers Plan to Patrol Border

    Armed Volunteers Plan to Patrol Border

    Wed Mar 30, 4:14 PM ET U.S. National - AP


    By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN, Associated Press Writer

    TOMBSTONE, Ariz. - Hundreds of volunteers, some of them armed, are expected to take up positions along the Mexican border Friday and begin patrolling for illegal immigrants â€
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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