'Minutemen' to push Congress
THE WASHINGTON TIMES | April 27, 2005
By Jerry Seper
Minuteman Project organizers will tell members of Congress today that "ordinary citizens sitting in lawn chairs" stopped a flood of illegal aliens along the U.S.-Mexico border, and that if the country's elected leaders "will not defend our nation's borders, American citizens will."
Organizers James T. Gilchrist and Chris Simcox will tell the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, during a closed meeting, that the Minuteman volunteers shut down alien traffic along a 23-mile section of border while bringing nationwide attention to a national security crisis, of which porous borders and illegal aliens are key components.
"We demonstrated that ordinary citizens have not only the will, but the means to secure our border," said Mr. Gilchrist, a retired California certified public accountant and combat-wounded Vietnam veteran.
Mr. Simcox, a Tombstone, Ariz., newspaper publisher and founder of Arizona's Civil Homeland Defense Corps (CHD), also will tell the caucus that the volunteers were successful "simply by maintaining a presence on the border," adding that 15,000 new volunteers "are ready, willing and able to do the job our president and Congress will not do.
"There is no compromise; we will continue to exercise our civic duty until relieved by the National Guard or the U.S. military," Mr. Simcox said. "The Minuteman Project's phenomenal success proved that our borders can be secured. Now it's time to take our message to Washington -- where the real battle begins."
More than 800 Minuteman volunteers have been on duty along the border east and west of Naco, Ariz., at one time or another since April 1, part of a border vigil to protest the lax immigration policies of Congress and the White House.
Mr. Simcox, whose CHD has reported more than 4,100 illegal aliens to the U.S. Border Patrol since November 2002, said the new volunteers will be ready in October to control illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border from California to Texas.
"We will package up what we've done here and do it again as a multistate border project. We will tell the government to do its job in securing this border or we will shut it down ourselves," he said.
Mr. Simcox and Mr. Gilchrist also are expected to say that in addition to proving that extra people on the border can deter illegal immigration, the Minuteman Project also established that the Mexican government -- if it wants to -- can exert control on its side of the border.
They said Mexican police, humanitarian workers and military personnel intercepted northbound migrants south of Minuteman observation posts, warning that "armed vigilantes" were waiting to hurt them. The Mexican government transported the would-be border crossers to Aqua Prieta, 25 miles east, and Nogales, 80 miles west, where illegal-alien totals later skyrocketed.
"It is clear the Mexican government clamped down on their side because of us," Mr. Simcox said.