Minuteman Project Wrap Up
organizers of the initiative believe it laid the foundation for a much broader vigil from
to California in October. Some 14,000 have already signed up for it. Future plans might include monitoring the northern border as well - in Texas , Vermont , Michigan , and North Dakota . Idaho
"We established a beachhead in
and now we are going to conquer the whole island," says James Gilchrist, cofounder of the project. "We did in 190 days of planning what all of the lobbyists couldn't do in 10 years and Congress couldn't do in 40 years - effectively protect the border from incoming illegals, terrorists, and drug traffickers." Arizona
Minutemen claim the 20-mile corridor directly patrolled by their volunteers dropped illegal crossings to from an average of 800 to 13 per day.
"The minutemen brought the problem of illegal immigration and the lack of support that the Border Patrol here gets from
," says Mike Albon, spokesman for Tucson Local 2544, a union of local Border Patrol agents. "We didn't have any problem with them and know of no incident to prove they were wackos and racists and supremacists." Washington
The minutemen say they stopped 60,000 illegal immigrants from crossing the border.
Along with the Minutemen, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, believes the month long patrol was a success.
But it's not just the authorities praising the Minutemen,
rancher Joe Scelso hates to see them go. "It's been quietest and most peaceful, we've had for the last eight years." Cochise County
According to the Minutemen, this is just the beginning. They claim to have 20,000 new volunteers ready to stand up and protect the border, North and South.
"Look, they've cut down the crossing of illegal immigrants by a huge percentage," Schwarzenegger told
-AM's "The John & Ken Show" on Thursday. KFI
There are plans to expand the patrols to
in June, a move Schwarzenegger "does not oppose," said Margita Thompson, his press secretary. California
estimates that about 11 million illegal immigrants live in the Pew Hispanic Center , half of whom come from United States . Mexico is home to 2.4 million, far more than any other state. California
Although President Bush has criticized the group as vigilantes, Schwarzenegger said, "They've done a terrific job. And they have cut down the crossing of illegal immigrants by a huge percentage.''
Schwarzenegger, appearing on the conservative Los Angeles
KFIradio's "John and Ken'' talk show, was asked his views of the Minutemen, who are using armed volunteers along the border in Arizona. The governor endorsed the effort, saying, "It just shows that it works.''
"Our federal government is not doing their job," Schwarzenegger said. "It's a shame that the private citizen has to go in there and start patrolling our borders."
Federal officials "owe it to the people to secure the borders ... they're not doing their job. They're leaving it way open, anyone can walk across,'' he said. "It's not just the problem of immigrants. It's also a problem that any terrorists can come in."
Asked what he would do to secure the border, the governor offered, "The most important thing is what they're doing with the Minutemen now ... have more people controlling it.''
All of the crazy talk calling the Minutemen "vigilantes", "domestic terrorists" and implying that the only reason they were on the border was to violently act on their hatred of Hispanics has been proven wrong. They greatly reduced the number of illegal aliens flooding into our country, and more importantly, started a media firestorm that won't easily be quelled. Similar projects are now being planned all over the Northern and