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15 Minutemen

I was never particularly excited about the Minuteman Project, where citizens patrol the border because our government is doing a crappy job of it. The president called them vigilantes but, with the president’s failure to take adequate steps to secure the borders, consider the source. The real significance of the Minuteman project is to draw attention to our porous borders and it has done that.

So, how are the Minutemen doing? Depends who you ask.

USA Today reports that the volunteers are disruptive:

Volunteers who have converged on the Mexican border to watch for illegal immigrants are disrupting U.S. Border Patrol operations by tripping sensors that alert agents to possible intruders, an agency spokesman complained Monday.

The AP, however, reports that it’s paying off:

Participants helped federal agents make 18 arrests near Naco, authorities said Sunday. The volunteers were surveying the border to familiarize themselves with the area before starting their regular, monthlong patrols Monday.

Meanwhile, the .gov will tighten border controls by 2008.

Update: An article I was emailed (can’t find a link to it – for future reference, send me a link too) states that:

Citizens take posts on the border; 118 illegals caught, officials say

FoxNews confirms that 118 were spotted.

Update 2: In comments, there’s a link to an article that claims the Minutemen have stopped 141 illegal aliens. I wonder how many the Border Patrol gets in a comparable time period?

16 Responses to “15 Minutemen”

  1. countertop Says:

    They tripped automatic sensors on public lands and for that they are considered a nuisance?


    Where they on private property? Where they trespassing? Where they doing anything illegal? What if it was you, SaysUnlce, who happened to go on a hiking trip with the family along this particularly beautiful part of the desert? Would that be ok???

    No, not in the eyes of the border patrol . . . . . so what exactly is the border patrol saying here – seems to me that this most incompetant branch of the government is basically declaring their intention that anyplace along the border be off limits to all americans.

    Again, WTF????

    If they just placed real live agents out in the field in the first place, they 1) wouldn’t have the minuteman project taking place, and 2) wouldn’t have top rely on electronic sensors to alert some office hundreds of miles away that the countries defenses have just been breached.

    Isn’t this exactly the kind of problem – that began under Clinton (but I don’t think was really his fault as much as it was the fault of a runaway Government intent on wasting money on dumb projects) that ultimatly led to 9/11? If we’ve learned anything from the war on terror its simply that we cannot trust computers and sensors feeding back information to some systems analyst in a cozy air conditioned office hundreds (or thousands) of miles away from the real action where he/she can let their guard down as they take their hourly starbucks breaks. No, the only way to gather the intelligence and fight the scourge of terrorism and illegal immigration (don’t dare say these guys aren’t terrorists or warriors – just look at the numbers of MS-13 members who have been arrested and deported in the last week) is with men (not women, who are by and large to weak to handle a close in hand to hand battle/confrontation) on the ground.

    Anything else is just kidding ourselves and Bush knows it.

  2. countertop Says:

    Geeze, I wish there was an edit feature. After posting that little rant – I just noticed a bunch of typos.

  3. Blounttruth Says:

    First I would like to say hats off to all volunteers of this project. I for one applauded the very idea of exercising their constitutional right to gather in protest and to form a militia from the start. I have also been watching this grow for years, from a gentleman who purchased the local paper in tombstone Arizona some years ago, calling for locals to gather and address this very problem. This was the first step in a process which led to the Minuteman Project. Any time our GIANT government ignores our pleas and allows ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION via an open border. In the meanwhile trying to sell us on a Patriot Act that shites on our constitution and rights let it be known I will stand for anyone that opposes their incompetence. The Patriot Act in my book is currently a tie with Airport security as Oxymoron of the year for í05.
    The absolute disgrace of all of it is our hands are tied. We will sit and Blog all day long with no action or passion towards these events other than our words. These individuals are risking their lives on the border to bring attention as their words cannot be heard loudly enough through the ears of big government. They will risk life and limb, and until key politicians have something to gain by addressing the border issue it shall remain the same long after these individuals leave.

  4. tgirsch Says:

    Wait a minute… I thought libertarians supported wide-open borders… ūüėČ

  5. SayUncle Says:

    No, that’s Libertarians. I support open immigration, if it’s done legally.

  6. markm Says:

    The BP has something like 1 agent for every 5 miles of border, only it isn’t safe for agents to work alon. That leaves a whole lot of space that someone can just walk through unseen. The sensors are an attempt to fill in the gaps a bit. But to really close the border, either they need a lot more manpower and money, or they need to stop just sending illegals back for another try.

    Like 2 fences 200 yards apart, lots of sensors in between, and helicopter gunships authorized to machinegun anything that moves.

  7. Manish Says:

    I support open immigration, if itís done legally.

    Quite frankly, IMHO immigration has become the new war on drugs. In all the talk of illegal immigration, libertarians seem to forget that its a victimless crime. (Yes you can argue there are victims, but you can also argue that legalizing drugs would have victims too).

    There’s a huge demand for illegal immigrant labour, particularly in the agricultural, restaurant and hotel businesses. A libertarian means of dealing with this would be to boycott these industries. It would be a lot easier to boycott than to patrol the border..especially since boycotting would get all of the people who are already here..but nobody seems to want to do that.

    Now there does need to be a legal means for these people to come over. The problem is political will. Cubans (due to the political influence of Cuban Americans) sneaking across the border are “punished” by being granted a green card immediately..something I don’t even have after being here legally for over 5 years. However, unskilled people from other countries have essentially no avenues for coming here legally.

  8. SayUncle Says:

    Manish, interesting analogy. But the war on drugs is actually fueled by the .gov. The immigrations stuff doesn’t seem to be getting the needed traction from the .gov.

  9. countertop Says:

    The economy vitally needs the immigrants to keep pumping it along. This isn’t a jobs issue at all – the immigrants are simply not taking jobs that americans want. But it is a security issue – by not processing them in an orderly and thoughtful fashion that is designed to serve our needs we are creating the anarchy that is our southern border. If all the illegal immigrants who simply want jobs knew they could apply for permission to come and work and be treated in a fair and open way they would. They would prefer to come over for free instead of pay some gang $60,000 to smuggle them.

    Unfortunatly, our system stil hasnt igured this out and so, like in the War on Some Drugs, we are shutting out legitmiate avenues of immigration for many people, forcing them to become criminals.

    SaysUncle is right. Open immigration with more guards manning the check in stations (in a more curteous manner) would do wonders for the economy and also free up the resources needed (as well as fund the additional guards needed) to patrol for the true terrorists trying to sneak over.

  10. Blake Says:

    More here:

  11. Manish Says:

    But the war on drugs is actually fueled by the .gov. The immigrations stuff doesnít seem to be getting the needed traction from the .gov.

    I would argue that they are essentially the same. The .gov makes drugs illegal and all of the associated bad stuff comes out of it. The .gov also makes immigration illegal (as opposed to having an open immigration policy), which fuels many of the problems with smugglers, people being treated poorly by their employers, etc.

    I wouldn’t advocate a completely open immigration policy, but I wouldn’t advocate totally unregulated marijuana for everyone either.

  12. tgirsch Says:


    This isnít a jobs issue at all – the immigrants are simply not taking jobs that americans want.

    Baloney. The employers in question aren’t willing to pay Americans enough to get them to take the jobs. And they get to avoid payroll taxes by paying under the table. In other words, they don’t want to play by the rules, and by hiring illegals, they don’t have to.

    It’s not that Americans don’t want to pick lettuce; it’s that Americans don’t want to pick lettuce for $3 an hour.

  13. countertop Says:

    Tgirsch – and are you willing to pay for lettuce that cost $12/hr (with benefits) to pick – thereby (of course) only driving up the desire of illegals to come into this country????

    Don’t believe the outsourcing BS of Kerry, etal. The reasons corporations are outsourcing is because they simply can’t find the workers in this country. Unemployment is a at 5.5% as of March. That is basically zero for all intents and purposes. If you want a job in this country (as opposed to say the socialist liberal experiment in Europe that continues to fail) you can find one. Employers are desperate for good workers and simply can’t find them. Its not a minimum wage issue. We have advanced – for the most part – and just don’t have a viable work force (and consumer population) to support low skilled low paying jobs.

  14. tgirsch Says:


    and are you willing to pay for lettuce that cost $12/hr (with benefits) to pick – thereby (of course) only driving up the desire of illegals to come into this country????

    Short answer, yes. I will pay more to get products from a producer that actually treats their employees fairly, and actually obeys the law.

    Donít believe the outsourcing BS of Kerry, etal.

    When did this become about outsourcing? It’s not about sending jobs overseas, it’s about illegally hiring people to work here. Tangentially related, maybe, but not relevant to this discussion.

    Unemployment is a at 5.5% as of March. That is basically zero for all intents and purposes. If you want a job in this country (as opposed to say the socialist liberal experiment in Europe that continues to fail) you can find one.

    How do you figure? The unemployment figures only figure in those people who are actively looking for work. So that means that 5.5% of people who are looking for jobs can’t find them. People who aren’t looking for jobs (either because they don’t want/need a job, or because they gave up looking) aren’t even counted in that 5.5% figure. That’s a far cry from “anyone who wants a job can find one.”

    Employers are desperate for good workers and simply canít find them.

    Got figures to back that up?

    We have advanced – for the most part – and just donít have a viable work force (and consumer population) to support low skilled low paying jobs.

    Hence the “race to the bottom,” which you are apparently all in favor of.

  15. tgirsch Says:

    Bringing this back around to the subject of immigration (at least from Mexico), the answer isn’t tightening the border to make it harder for them to get in; it’s taking away their incentive to come here illegally in the first place. That means cracking down on employers who knowingly hire illegals. No slap on the wrist, but serious fines and penalties.

  16. Blounttruth Says:

    The issue here is the legal status of these individuals. Illegal immigrant means just that “illegal”. The media reports that these individuals want jobs Americans do not want, but have you spoke with many “American” lawn care service owners in California and surrounding states lately? Well neither has the media.
    As far as the libertarian view Libertarians do not want to end these jobs, but rather fill them with Americans that will work for a fair wage. To think they want to end these jobs is silly.
    I would certainly pay more for lettuce, oranges, or what ever the product was if it came from American labor. It is true that these individuals work for $3.00 an hour, and in this country that too is illegal. We need to get back to the heart of the problem which is allowing people to enter the country illegally. The most ridiculous statement that was made is that it is more affordable to enter the country by paying a gang $60,000.00 to get him/her across the boarder??? If immigrants have $60,000.00 they wouldnít be in the US to work, unless they were peddling drugs or involved in other illegal activities. This country was founded on immigration (Legal Immigration) and that is what the minutemen and all true sensible Americans want.
    The difference between the war on drugs and war on immigration is the war on drugs is profitable to the gov. where the war on immigration would have adverse effects. Especially for the dems that want the illegal vote in the high minority sectors. This is one thing the republicans and dems. agree on, neither want to do anything at the boarder. The republicans might not get the minority vote today, but they are always looking to the future when they could possibly capture the minority vote by the same means the dems have acquired them, by promising all and giving nothing.
    Being a libertarian doesnít mean you share all libertarian views 100%. I am a Libertarian when it comes to politics, but for family life I lean on the conservative side. I guess the views I have expressed are conservitarian.