A retired businessman has put together a 30-day campaign by 240 volunteers to patrol the Arizona-Mexico by air and land starting in April.
James Gilchrist, a combat-wounded U.S. Marine and Vietnam veteran, said the "Minuteman Project" will field volunteers from 37 states, many of them ex-military and law enforcement personnel, to man observation posts and a communications center, along with seven pilots from Arizona who will provide aerial surveillance.
Billed as "Americans doing the job Congress won't do," the project — which will begin April 1 — is intended to showcase inadequate border- and immigration-enforcement policies by the U.S. government, Mr. Gilchrist said.
"We hope to bring enough attention also that we can send a message to our leaders in Washington, D.C., that this is our country, too," he said. "This border issue is about all 50 states, not just Arizona or Texas. It's about our Constitution and how it applies to all of us.
"We're looking for this nation to again be guided by the rule of law, not a nation ruled by an endless mob of illegal aliens streaming across our borders like a tsunami, a culture shock that someday — perhaps soon — we will have neither the manpower nor the will to stop," he said.
At least someone's trying to highlight the problem. Law enforcement in the area is totally against this action by the Minuteman Project, but conclude that it is a lawful act as long as they don't perform illegal acts.
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Michael Nicely, who heads the Tucson, Ariz., sector, is concerned about their safety, noting that the U.S.-Mexico border is "a dangerous environment even under the best of circumstances." He said well-equipped and highly trained law-enforcement personnel have found the border to be a "hazardous place."
"We are always concerned about civilians who put themselves in danger," Chief Nicely said. "People certainly have the right to demonstrate to make a political point, and we will not interfere with that, but they are absolutely not equipped to deal with the border environment.
"It doesn't take a lot of imagination to picture what could happen," he said, noting that alien smugglers in the area often are armed and have not hesitated to confront Border Patrol personnel. "It could be a very [volatile] situation, one that reasonable people ought to avoid."
"And there is the potential for conflict," [Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever] said, noting that 40 percent of Cochise County is privately owned and many of the ranchers and other property owners "don't want to be someone else's playground."
Yeah, I'm sure they don't like those 10,000 illegal aliens a day traipsing through their private land either, but nothing is being done about that. I can't fault the border patrol with the failures of the border, they are not given the support they need from the government, but the defensive talk of both the Border Patrol and law enforcement in the area should raise red flags for anyone.
Are they afraid that this group will expose their incompetence in some way? The language they use in the article would seem to say as much. I'm hoping this project goes off without a hitch and exposes the grand scale of the border problem. Hopefully it will be well documented and not just in writing, but video as well that can easily be disseminated to media outlets exposing the disgusting situation on the border and Congress and the Presidents lack of understanding of the situation.
Tipped by: The Tar Pit
Imagine the word goes out throughout the Bush administration to ignore the law and to sit back and never prosecute infractions of the separation of church and state. How many nanoseconds do you think it would take the ACLU or some such organization to bring federal suit against the executive branch for not enforcing the laws on the books??
I'm no lawyer, so maybe I'm not qualified to understand this issue, but it seems to me we have something wrong in this country if its citizens have no legal means to FORCE, if need be, the executive branch to enforce the law. What the hell else is it for??
If something would happen to force our government to either enforce the immigration laws on the books, or change them, by, God, they would have to enforce them, and the politicians who would vote to suspend them would have to reveal themselves. And pay the price.
Posted by: deona on January 28, 2005 02:46 PM