- The Washington Times - Friday, May 26, 2006

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) will begin construction of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border in Palominas, Ariz., today in the wake of the Senate’s passage of an immigration reform bill the Minutemen have criticized as amnesty.

“The vote to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens by the U.S. Senate, should it pass into law, would ensure that the status quo is maintained. The borders would remain wide open and the attractive nuisance of endless welfare and social programs at the expense of the American taxpayer would remain,” said MCDC President Chris Simcox.

“Those climbing over the backs of those waiting patiently to abide by our laws and instead breaking the law, illegally entering this country, and committing document fraud, those not paying taxes and those hiring illegally would be granted full amnesty,” Mr. Simcox said. “This sends the message that if you play by the rules, you suffer; if you enter the United States illegally, you are not subject to the rule of law.”

More than 1.15 million illegal aliens were apprehended last year by the Border Patrol, more than half of whom were caught in Arizona.

The MCDC, working with WeNeedAFence.com, a grass-roots group that began a campaign last year to construct a secure barrier along the Southwest border, has partnered with six landowners for construction of fencing on their properties and has raised more than $200,000 in donations so far to pay for the project.

Surveillance cameras on the fencing will be monitored via computer by registered Minutemen volunteers across the country, Mr. Simcox said.

“No fence can be a 100 percent impenetrable barrier — but a good design will be time-consuming enough to get through that Border Patrol agents can be alerted to get to a point of attempted intrusion before the intrusion can be completed,” he said.

The fence’s design was the work of WeNeedAFence.com, whose founder, Colin Hanna, described the Arizona project as a “bold and creative private-sector initiative” to bring a secure physical barrier along the nation’s southern border.

“We are thankful that 259 members of Congress and 83 senators have voted for a border security fence,” he said. “It is time for the House and Senate to work together to ensure that every high-traffic border region is protected with a secure physical barrier so that America can remain a nation of legal immigrants.”

Mr. Simcox and Mr. Hanna will attend today’s ground-breaking ceremonies. Two construction companies have offered to begin building the fence, coordinate volunteer construction crews and donate the use of heavy construction equipment, Mr. Simcox said.

In December, the Pennsylvania-based WeNeedAFence.com first proposed that a privately built fence be erected on the southern border, delivering 20,000 petitions to members of Congress asking that a fence provision be included in any immigration bill.

The organization wants separate fences on both sides of the border, each 12- to 15-feet high, separated by a roadway to allow the passage of Border Patrol vehicles. Motion sensors would be buried in the road as part of the project. The structure would be 40 to 50 yards wide, with coiled barbed wire 8 feet high on each perimeter. The cost has been estimated at $4 billion to $8 billion.

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