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Related Categories: U.S. | Immigrant Rights
MinuteMan Project is Misguided Vigilante Justice
by American Progress Action Fund
Thursday Apr 7th, 2005 12:57 AM
Sadly, their efforts bear far more resemblance to xenophobic hate groups than they do to the original Minutemen from Massachusetts. Local, state, and federal officials have denounced their initiative as an unnecessary interference with border patrol authorities, and even President Bush referred to them as “vigilantes.”
MinuteMan Project is Misguided Vigilante Justice

April 6, 2005


In a supposed tribute to the revolutionary heroes who once fought for American independence, a group of anti-immigration activists in Arizona have incited a flurry of media attention with their efforts to “police” the border with Mexico in search of immigrants crossing the border. Sadly, their efforts bear far more resemblance to xenophobic hate groups than they do to the original Minutemen from Massachusetts. Local, state, and federal officials have denounced their initiative as an unnecessary interference with border patrol authorities, and even President Bush referred to them as “vigilantes.” Border security is a serious problem that demands leadership from the White House and Congress, not the slipshod work of weekend warriors seeking news headlines and stoking anti-immigration bias throughout the nation.

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The MinuteMan project interferes with the critically important work of law enforcement and border patrol agencies. The Border Patrol has denounced the MinuteMan project, voicing concern that untrained civilians “could cause more trouble than they prevent.” Unfortunately in a few short days they have done just that, making the already-difficult job of patrolling the border that much harder. Volunteers have disturbed the footprints agents use to track immigrants and set off carefully placed sensors along the border.


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The MinuteMan project helps fuel anti-immigrant bias and should be roundly condemned. An official with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, worried the Minutemen “would want to harm Mexicans.” The MinuteMan project’s website includes race-baiting language (the “menace of tens of millions of invading illegal aliens”), suggests that continued immigration will lead to political violence, and is one click away from the website of the white supremacist Aryan Nation. Rather than condemn such views, members of Congress such as Tom Tancredo (R-CO) wholeheartedly endorsed MinuteMan members as “heroes.”


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The White House and Congress must enact comprehensive immigration reform. The media fuss over the MinuteMan project should not distract attention from the lack of leadership shown by the White Bush and Congress in improving border security and passing comprehensive immigration reform. President Bush’s guest worker proposal has languished for more than a year, while the White House has failed to provide the number of border patrol agents set out in last year’s intelligence reform bill.

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What are you afraid of?Think For YourselfThursday Apr 7th, 2005 8:41 AM
There will be more to comea US citizenThursday Apr 7th, 2005 7:53 AM
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