Tuesday, March 29, 2005


The issue of civilians monitoring the border between Mexico and the US has triggered a lot of very bad press for the Civil Homeland Defense Corps. There are very two very different views about this group.

I have found several different sources and i would like to collect the different facts in one place.

The group named Civil Homeland Defense Corps (CHDC) started the "Minuteman Project that will place volunteers at quarter-mile intervals to watch a busy 50-mile stretch of border for the entire month of April". The nearly 1,000 volunteers hail from all 50 states and Canada. This group will be armed with "night vision goggles, radios and light aircraft ("30 private planes" )" and lawfully carried handguns (read CCW firearms). Though the CHDC will self prohibit rifles, though they are not legal forced to. The CHDC has been called "immigrant hunters" by the President of Mexico. Border Action, a border group, calls the group "vigilante[s]".

There are several misconceptions about the group and the issue. They have not started the project yet and their stated aims are peaceful. Mexico has tossed around claims of "vigilante attacks" near the Mexico-US border.

The problem is also not being fully stated in the press outside of America.
"And for those seeking to join up to six million undocumented Mexican workers already in the US, the crossing is about to get tougher."

Right now there are around 8 million unemployed people in America, just to give you an idea of how big this number actually is and what effect it has on our economy.

The tradition of citizens help border control is long and varied, though the recent actions of the CHDC are more direct and to the point than other such citizen efforts. This group's goals are being portrayed as near bounty hunter-esque, but in fact their stated goals are to "observe", report by "make[ing] lots of noise and [to] burn campfires at night to be very visible". They have also been very clear internally on what their behavioral patters are.

"If one single person steps over the line for their personal gratification, we are all stained with that irresponsible behavior and labeled forever as a fringe element that embarrasses all who are counting on us to make this historic statement," he [James Gilchrist] said."

The CHDC has attracted several main groups which are in opposition, the Central America-based gang called MS-13. The ACLU, who "has special observers for the event" which will follow the CHDC "10-15 feet distant" to ensure no ones rights are being infringed. The Mexican government "has asked U.S. officials to monitor the vigilante group so Mexican nationals caught during this protest are not abused." A border group called Humane Borders, who attempts to prevent people dying on the five-day trek through Arizona's baking heat by putting water stations in the desert.

Do-It-Yourself Border Patrol
minuteman Project' drawing protests
Gang will target Minuteman vigil on Mexico border via Drudge
The Minuteman Project
vigilantes' set for Mexico border patrol
Minuteman Project mistakes nature of immigration problem


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