(First posted April 7 at PolState.com, a site I own.)
When your job is to reduce illegal immigration you’ve got a tough row to hoe, especally if you’re on the Mexico/US border. There is no area more permeable than the 370-mile Arizona/ Mexico border. I live about 70 miles away.
Recognizing this fact this week the not-really-sure-why-they’re-named Minuteman Project of about 150 to 1,000 (figures depends upon who’s giving them) took up positions in and around and in airplanes Naco, AZ to, let’s say, dissuade Mexicans from crossing into the US.
Though there is a much renewed focus on illegal immigration – and 500 new Border Patrol agents – there is also some fancy figure footwork going on. The number of illegals reportedly dropped by half in Minuteman’s first day of operation. Anyone attaching figures to this situation are “laughable” because if we could accurately count how many illegals are crossing we wouldn’t have a problem. Links 1, 2, 3, 4.
There are already claims of the vigilante side of things going too far.
Carol Capas, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman, said the 26-year-old man from Obregon, Mexico, told agents he was physically restrained and forced to hold a shirt while his picture was taken and he was videotaped.
The shirt read: “Bryan Barton caught an illegal alien and all I got was this T-shirt.”
Barton, who is from California, told agents that he and the other two volunteers waived the man over to them, offered the immigrant food and water, and gave him the T-shirt and money before the Border Patrol arrived.
Barton also also provided deputies with the videotape that purportedly shows the incident. Capas said investigators were reviewing the tape. The volunteers were not arrested or ticketed, she said.
Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano and AZ Republican Senators Kyl and McCain are all in agreement that both the immigration and the drain on the state’s coffers is a problem. Gov. Napolitano has gone so far as to repeatedly say and formally request that the federal government kick in much more money to payback the state’s financial outlay on the matter – immigration is a federal issue.
We haven’t heard too much from Mexicans – naturally, since what they are doing is already illegal. But we have heard from the Border Patrol and Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue.
They’re mildly upset. (I heard this elsewhere but this is the only free, non-subscribe link I could find)
Because of the expense involved, The Minuteman Project also wants to stop things like this from happening:
Border Patrol Rescues Three Illegal Aliens in Distress
The illegal aliens activated a rescue beacon on the Tohono O’odham Reservation
Tucson, AZ – Yesterday, Customs and Border Protection pilots and Border Patrol Search, Trama, and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents pulled three illegal aliens out of the desert that had activated a rescue beacon located northeast of Topawa, Arizona, on the Tohono O’odham reservation.
At approximately 6:00 p.m., the CBP pilots and BORSTAR crew responded to a beacon activation and encountered three individuals. The BORSTAR agent disembarked the helicopter in order to provide aid to the group. The three related that they had entered the United States illegally, and had been lost in the desert for three days without food. The group told the BORSTAR agent that they had decided to activate the beacon knowing that their situation was becoming desperate and in order to get help.
The Border Patrol has installed thirteen rescue beacons, four in the Naco Corridor, and nine in the West Desert corridor, between Tucson and Ajo, Arizona. The beacons are one measure taken by the Border Patrol in order to minimize fatalities associated with illegal immigration. The Rescue Beacon’s design allows for easy activation by aliens who find themselves in distress while traveling through isolated areas. The beacons have strobe lights atop their 30-foot towers and are visible for many miles. With a simple press of a button, the Beacon’s radio signals the nearest Border Patrol Station in order to dispatch agents to that location to provide assistance.
The Border Patrol is a division of the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, a new agency within the Department of Homeland Security, responsible for managing and securing our nation’s borders.
- from a Us Border Patrol and Immigration news release
There are rumblings of White Supremacist ties to the Minuteman group, prompting this new message on the front of the Minuteman Project Web site:
MMP is a citizens’ neighborhood watch along our border
The Minuteman Project has no affiliation with, nor will we accept any assistance by or interference from separatists, racists or supremacy groups or individuals, no matter what their race, color, or creed.
There is the not so small matter of enforcing laws on hiring illegal aliens (Link)
All of which are separate issues from both the problem of illegal immigration and whether groups like this should exist or need to exist.
Or whether there is a similar group on the Canadian border.
I say this not in jest. One of the main claims from Minutemen is that they fear the entrance of terrorists from a weak border. Surely though the northern border is a much less tense place – and a much more likely place for terrorists, who are not stupid.
In other news the Minutemen lost to the Crusaders last week 7-4 after a game-ending defensive double play.