IN DEFENSE OF THE MINUTEMAN PROJECT
April 11, 2005
Much of the media coverage and virtually all of the 'government' comment on the Minuteman Project www.minutemanproject.com has been negative.
Despite measurable success, the Main Stream Media and bureaucrats of all stripes continue to denigrate what is proving to be a good thing. A good thing however that personifies those who don’t want to be confused with facts that contradict a preconceived opinion or prejudice.
Detractors say the MMP is successful only for the 24-mile stretch of border. Those not crossing where they had been are just moving east to more porous routes.
The controversy surrounding the Minuteman Project is a poorly crafted red herring.
The simple, empirical reality is the Minuteman Project has been hugely successful. Illegal border crossings along the stretch of Arizona/Mexico border have virtually been stopped.
Notwithstanding the fears of vigilante violence and gap-toothed redneck pickup truck marauders, the Minuteman Project is proving to be a well organized, effectively managed deterrent to a chronic travesty of neglect.
It is interesting that local ranchers and victims of local and federal government malfeasance overwhelmingly support and appreciate the results of the Minuteman Project. It is equally interesting that 'officials' (who have been derelict and incompetent) not only resent these citizen border watchers, but have targeted THEM with petty harassment.
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano wrote them a letter saying they are on her 'blacklist' and state cops are targeting out-of-state plates with minor infraction tickets. Hopefully local ranchers will reward the Governor by voting her out of office.
The Oakland Tribune got the whole Minuteman thing exactly WRONG. They wrote, "The Arizona hunters gathering in April for the so-called ‘Minuteman Project’ to search for undocumented immigrants along the border with Mexico aren't likely to have any success in stemming their migration to the United States.” They are not “hunters,” but a ‘Neighborhood Watch’ group with volunteers from numerous states.
Reportedly, there has been a steady stream of law enforcement ‘presence’…“a showing of border patrol helicopters, border patrol SUVs, sheriff vehicles, border patrol on scooters. In short, there was a steady stream of law enforcement on this normally deserted stretch of border land.”
Local ranchers claim they have never seen so many border patrol. However the show of force is not for illegals…it is for the MMP.
The Tribune said, “It's simply a sham with racial implications.” Bullfeathers! “They are hunters of hate." What a crock!
The MMP organizers who have been doing a superb job of avoiding confrontation and providing a valuable service to the badge carrying Border Patrol agents rejected any potential ‘hunters of hate.’
The ‘suits’ may be in persistent hissy-fit mode, but the Border Patrol agents walking the sand really appreciate the additional intelligence resources.
Detractors say if you measure success in terms of “they ain’t crossin' here no more,” the Minuteman Project is successful for only 24 miles of border. Naysayers claim this is a distraction for officials focused on watching the watchers.
A rancher’s wife who lives on 800 acres of border property (the family has been there since the 1880s) requested that Minutemen be stationed nearby. She used to hear gunshots every night. Since the Minutemen arrived, she claims the gunshots have stopped.
Prior to the MMP, her husband would report information the border patrol wouldn’t believe. When her husband reported counting over 200 illegals in a group, he was told that wasn’t possible. Who are you going to believe your eyes or an official chairborne bureaucrat?
The locals love the volunteers. The officials hate them.
Whereas the Oakland Tribune calls the MMP “Arizona hunters”…each team has been encouraged to fly their state flag. As a result, a volunteer reports, “a New York flag was flying from the team to our west and a Florida flag flying from the team to our east. Our team flew an American and a Californian flag combo.”
Border patrol supervisors drive around spinning the ‘official’ line: MMP bad/Government agents good. However, when the supervisors return to air-conditioned offices, the rank and file border patrol say they are delighted the volunteers are there.
One volunteer noted, “I met some great people from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Kansas, lots of Texans and Californians. Most were just run of the mill, salt of the earth typical hard working American citizens.”
Everyone acknowledges the border is not adequately protected. In this war on terror, the border is an accident waiting to happen. If our government officials cannot or will not protect the border, they should embrace (and work WITH) citizen volunteers instead of crunching their cookies in some lame bureaucratic territorial whizzing match.
The simple truth is in an old joke: "Doctor, it hurts when I go like ‘that,’” said the patient. "Don’t go like ‘that,’" said the doctor.
© 2005 Geoff Metcalf - All
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The locals love the volunteers. The officials hate them.