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Local in Arizona to patrol border with Minuteman Project
By Michael Verseckes/
Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Weymouth resident is among several members of a local group who are heading to the San Pedro Valley in Arizona in an effort to call attention to the issue of foreign citizens crossing the US-Mexican border illegally.

The event has been organized by the Minuteman Project, a outspoken group that is calling for strengthening the country's international border security, specifically on the border with Mexico.

Four members of the Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform (MCIR) are joining up with another one thousand people nationwide that will descend on the "Naco Line," an 18-mile stretch of open border on the southern side of Arizona.

Robert Casimiro, a Weymouth resident, flew down on Thursday, March 24, to join up with the Minuteman Project.

The Minuteman Project will be holding rallies near the border in an attempt to send a message to the president and Congress of the effects of illegal immigration.

The project's participants will also be conducting auxiliary border patrols, "spotting" people crossing illegally and reporting them to the border patrol and the local authorities.

"We're trying to bring attention to this situation that's getting out of hand," Casimiro said. "We're frustrated with the federal government's failure of responsibility to do what they're supposed to do and protect us."

Casimiro said immigrants who cross the border damage property of local residents and pose a threat to the area's safety.

Still, for Casimiro and the locally-based MCIR, the effects of illegal immigration thousands of miles away have also registered in Massachusetts.

Casimiro is pursuing a town ordinance that would require local businesses to verify the legal status of new employees.

Back in January, Casimiro appeared before the town council with the idea for the ordinance.

The ordinance would help to keep illegal immigrants out, Casimiro said, by eliminating the incentive of jobs.

"Illegal aliens have become a huge issue, both locally and nationally," Casimiro said to the town council. "The best way to keep them out is to deny them the jobs when they get here."

Documents provided by the Minuteman Project said the objective "will be to spot these intruders [...] and inform the US Border Patrol of the location of the trespassers so that border patrol agents can intercept and detain them."

"We cannot make a citizen arrest and will not be confronting the illegal aliens," the documents said. "We will be spotting and reporting them to the proper authorities."