22 Jul 2005
The anti-immigration volunteer movement that started earlier this year at the Arizona-Mexico border is spreading throughout the U.S. At least 40 anti-immigration groups inspired by the Minuteman project have show up throughout the U.S. to “expose illegals.” The Minuteman project now has chapters in 18 states, from California ot Tennessee and even Maine.
The Minuteman project has been the recipient of much skepticism, especially from pro-immigration groups who compare the renegade movement as a throwback to Ku Klux Klan activities of the mid-20th century. The federal government, however, is a bit more guarded in its response to the anti-immigration vigilantes:
"Homeland security is a shared responsibility, and the department believes the American public plays a critical role in helping to defend the homeland," agency spokesman Jarrod Agen said. "But as far doing an investigation or anything beyond giving us a heads-up, that should be handled by trained law enforcement."
A California chapter of the project recently urged volunteers to bring baseball bats, mace, pepper spray and machetes to patrol the U.S. border. After being contacted by the U.S. Border patrol last week, the chapter pulled back from their original recommendation, but replaced it with an alternate suggestion to bring guns on patrol.