Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps will set up civilian patrols and observation posts along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona and New Mexico for three days next week, with similar operations scheduled to begin in Texas and California next month.

Chris Simcox, MCDC co-founder, said the patrols will begin next Friday in Three Points, Ariz., a popular alien-smuggling corridor southwest of Tucson, and Jan. 21 in New Mexico, along drug- and alien-smuggling areas of the western New Mexico border.

“Support for MCDC and its sister organization, the Minuteman Project, is growing rapidly,” Mr. Simcox said. “State and local chapters are in the process of being organized all around the country. The influence of the Minuteman movement is being felt from Washington, D.C., to Arizona, with politicians responding to the call of constituents who are alarmed at the failure of the federal government to secure our porous borders.”

More than 2,000 civilian volunteers manned observation posts and conducted foot and horse patrols along the U.S.-Mexico border from California to Texas for 30 days in October to report illegal aliens and drug smugglers to the U.S. Border Patrol. About 850 volunteers did the same thing in April along a 23-mile section of border near Naco, Ariz.

Mr. Simcox, a former Tombstone, Ariz., newspaper publisher, also applauded a proposal this week by Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano to beef up border security and punish companies that intentionally hire illegal aliens. The plan was outlined during an address to the Arizona Legislature, during which she criticized alien smugglers as “vicious criminals who exploit misery and prey on fear.”

Miss Napolitano told the Legislature that she intended to “strengthen the border with the people and equipment we need to fight crime and increase border security for lawful commerce, tourism and legal immigration.”

Mr. Simcox said the governor “is correct to not wait for the federal government to do its duty, as it has failed for decades to do so.”

The Minutemen have been calling for the National Guard to be placed on the border until relieved by the federal government.

“We are pleased that Governor Napolitano is taking steps to make that happen,” he said. “However, she is asking for funding from the federal government to cover the costs of deploying the Guard. The governor has authority to raise a state militia to protect the safety and security of Arizonans.

“If the federal government denies or delays approval of her request to mobilize the Guard on the border, she should act and use some of the state’s budget surplus for the state militia,” he said.

Mr. Simcox said Arizona suffers disproportionately from the rampant crime associated with porous borders and deserves immediate help.

“That this proposal comes from a Democratic governor ought to put to bed the idea that concern over illegal immigration and our porous borders is a matter of partisan politics,” he said.

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