2005 April 06 Wednesday
Minutemen Reduce Illegal Flow Across Arizona Border Section

A small group of private citizens are managing to do what the Open Borders crowd says is impossible.

This vast desert border just west of Douglas, Ariz., is the busiest illegal crossing point in the nation. Enriquez said more than 400 people a day walk these harsh trails. But news of the Minutemen's arrival, combined with media hype in Mexico, has cut the traffic to a few dozen a day.

Some smugglers have refused to take clients to the border area until the activists leave. Others are directing them elsewhere, as far east as El Paso, Texas. An air of fear and indignation hangs over this side of the border, where misinformation is rife.

The Mexican government confirms the decline in illegal border crossings.

AGUA PRIETA, Mexico Apr 6, 2005 The number of Mexican migrants trying to sneak into the United States through the Arizona border has dropped by half since hundreds of American civilians began guarding the area earlier this week, say Mexican officials assigned to protect their citizens.

A couple hundred Minutemen started patrolling on Monday.

''The project is already a huge success because all the world is watching," said Mike McGarry, a Minuteman Project spokesman.

The Minutemen Project web site has photos from their patrols at the border in Arizona.

About 500 volunteers have registered and have been in the field, said McGarry, who added that he expects 1,000 people to participate at some point during the monthlong project. Organizers said 200 volunteers took up positions Monday, the vast majority during the day. Some ''minutemen" set up lawn chairs and applied sunscreen as they watched the border.

The Mexican government is busy trying to help the illegals avoid the Minutemen.

On the Mexican side of the border, agents in orange jumpsuits from the government migrant aid agency were driving around warning people where the volunteers were stationed. Many of the migrants were likely going to other sections of the border, said Bertha de la Rosa, director of Grupo Beta in the border town of Aguaprieta.

Minutemen founder Chris Simcox says the US government should use soldiers to duplicate what the Minutemen are doing but extend the effort along the entire US-Mexico border.

The Minuteman Project is the brainchild of Chris Simcox, the editor of Tombstone Tumbleweed, the newspaper in the town best known for the Gunfight at the OK Corral.

"Our aim is to send a message to Mr Bush and Congress that they have not listened to the demands of citizens," he said as he deployed teams every few hundred yards along five miles of border. "We are modelling what homeland security should look like. There should be National Guardsmen every 2,000 yards from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico. You can't find a greater threat to the US than right here."

A spokesman for the Border Patrol objects to the Minutemen because the Minutemen disrupt regular bureaucratic procedures and also because some illegals are so dangerous that the Border Patrol doesn't want to accidentally run into US civilians in what the Border Patrol considers a danger zone.

But Border Patrol agents weren't happy with the hoards of volunteers who they said posed a dangerous situation for both the agents and themselves. In the Naco area of the Tucson sector last year, 118 border agents were assaulted, said Jose Maheda, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

"These minutemen are causing a disruption in our normal operating procedures,' Maheda said over the growing chants of the crowd. "Now we have to worry about running into civilians in the dark night out there in the desert, armed civilians without training. We do not encourage this type of participation.'

Of course there are lots of American citizens living near the border getting assaulted and robbed by these dangerous illegal border crossers. What of them?

Standing aside Mexican President Vicente Fox at a press conference George W. Bush denounced the Minutemen as vigilantes.

: "I am against vigilantes in the United States of America. I am for enforcing law in a rational way. That's why we have a Border Patrol, and they ought to be in charge of enforcing the border." Bush, as HUMAN EVENTS readers know, budgeted only $37 million for 210 new Border Patrol agents, even though he signed a law in December that authorized doubling the Border Patrol from about 10,000 agents to 20,000 by adding 2,000 new agents per year for five years. The Minuteman Project, meanwhile, was none too pleased by the President's remarks. Its leaders called the group a large-scale "neighborhood watch" project that would work with police to report illegal aliens.

News flash to Bush: Citizens have a legal right to enforce the laws of the United States. But as Michelle Malkin pointed out in response Bush does not intend to enforce immigration law.

Tom Tancredo says enforcing the laws of the land is not a radical idea.

"Since when did actually enforcing the laws of the land become a radical idea?" asked Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., a leading supporter of tougher immigration measures. "If you don't know who is coming across your borders and for what purpose, then you cannot call yourself a nation."

Tancredo may run for the Presidency of the United States in 2008.

Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., fresh from victory in three online presidential straw polls over formidable candidates, told Joseph Farah's radio audience today he would run for president in 2008 if no other Republican candidate takes the border issue seriously.

"I'll tell you what," he said, "if no one else does it, I will do it."

I'll vote for Tom. If another Open Borders yahoo gets the Republican nomination then I hope I'll be able to vote for staunch illegal immigration opponent Hillary Clinton.

Update: Michelle Malkin found Hillary's anti-immigration rhetoric worth taking seriously even though previously Michelle found much to fault Hillary for on immigration. The late Sam Francis was more skeptical about Hillary's more recent immigration position. Hillary has a bad report card on immigration voting. Well, I'm a Tom Tancredo for President supporter.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 April 06 02:38 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement

crush41 said at April 6, 2005 4:28 PM:

I saw Chris Simcox on FNC a couple of nights ago where he disputed what the Maheda put out as the BP official stance on the MinuteMen. Simcox reported that the rank-and-file were extremely appreciative of the groups efforts, giving them the thumbs-up and voicing the need for more assistance. His riposte to criticisms that the volunteers were in danger was perfect: (paraphrasing) "It's shows the sad state of America when its citizens have to live in fear on their own soil."

John S Bolton said at April 6, 2005 5:01 PM:

Bush is the one who is taking the law into his own hands by refusing to enforce it, and treacherously refusing to defend the borders from foreign attack. The minutemen are only witnessing the violation of laws by others. Recently, the president said that "the essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak". That is an orwellian inversion of the truth; it is the essence of barbarism that enforces duties to take care of the weak regardless of the rights of the strong not to have acts of aggression carried out against them for whatever weak purpose. The essence of civilization is freedom from aggression, but never freedom for officials to use aggression to enforce fictitious duties to take care of the weakness of every hostile in the world. The administration apparently believes that the way to advance civilization is to wave in millions of third worlders onto net public subsidy, and pretend that the net taxpayer has a duty to educate their descendants, and provide very expensive medical treatments, as if foreign aggressors have rights that the net taxpayer cannot have.

John O said at April 6, 2005 8:48 PM:

Rhetorically, Hillary maybe to the right of most Republicans on illegal immigration, but only because, as she sees it, the notion of national borders is largely anachronistic as a "globalized and integrated world" is inevitable. (See http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/930511/posts) She believes a single, unified world "is a perspective we Democrats have not successfully made clear." As bad as the situation is now, its preferable to having everyone in the world granted permanent legal entry to the US while our soveriegnty is ceded to some international organization.

Ned said at April 7, 2005 6:54 AM:

I agree completely with the sentiments that heve been expressed here. Illegal immigration is a cancer on our society that needs to be stopped. Bush deserves a lot of criticism for not doing anything about it, but the situation was no better when Clinton was in the White House or when the Democrats controlled Congress. As far as Hillary goes, her talk about stopping illegal immigration is just that - talk. If she were serious about it, she would introduce a tough piece of legislation in the Senate and then get out and campaign for it. Don't hold your breath waiting for that one. This cynical woman desparately wants to be elected President in 2008. She is many things, but stupid is not one of them. She and her handlers know that her hard-left image is a huge barrier for her and are doing everything thay can to soften it. Her anti-illegal immigration stuff is just spin.

As George Wallace used to say, there's not a dime's worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans on this issue. The Democrats regard Hispanics as a natural ethnic constituency and are reluctant to offend them. But Bush has always done well with Hispanic voters and the Republicans made big gains with them in the last election, so they are not going to risk stopping
a trend that they feel is moving in their favor.

For some perspective on why employers hire illegal immigrants, I want to share a coversation I had with a friend who owns a carpet mill in Georgia. The work is hot, dirty, and somewhat dangerous. Lots of Hispanics as well as some local natives work there for minimum wage or a little more. I asked him if the Hispanic workers incluuded any illegals - "They're all legal," he said with a big grin. Ha, ha. Anyway, the per capita GDP in Mexico is about one fourth of the US (in El Salvador, it's about one eighth). So six bucks an hour looks like $24 to a Mexican or $48 to someone from El Salvador. Plus, he says the Hispanics have a far better work ethic than the natives, whether white or black. He says that the natives (the "hillbillies," as he calls them, show up late, don't show up at all, and often have drug and alcohol problems. He says they don't care about their jobs because they know they can always get another one just like it at any time. The Hispanics mostly don't have these problems - he calls them ideal workers. None of this excuses the disgraceful lack of enforcement of our immigration laws, but it does provide some new perspective as to why it is occurring.

Rick Darby said at April 7, 2005 9:57 AM:

"These minutemen are causing a disruption in our normal operating procedures,' Maheda said ."

Exactly. That's the idea.

I don't know if the Border Patrol people at the sharp end feel the same -- probably not -- but the managers undoubtedly are comforable with the status quo, where they know that they aren't actually meant to stop The Invasion. They understand that their real duty is public relations, putting a spin on the facts so that it sounds like the job is being done while the stealth immigration carries on as usual.

Although I think that stopping illegal (and too much legal) immigration is already a lost cause, I'd be delighted if Tancredo ran for president in 2008, just to set the cat among the pigeons. But if you think you saw a megadose of hatred from the left and the mainstream media toward W last year, it was a wet kiss compared with how they'd react to a Tancredo candidacy.

GUYK said at April 7, 2005 2:42 PM:

It will not make any difference who the republicans run for the white house. The left will still spew their megadose of hatred.

Hillary for president? Too much baggage-most of it is what she ripped off from the White House on the way out. And, the bloggers have a long list of Clinton scandals of which Hillary is dead in the middle thereof. Hell, I'd rather see the not so reverend Jakson run than Hillary. Most of the time you know where Jessie stands-way out in left field and admits it.

John S Bolton said at April 7, 2005 3:09 PM:

Bush says he is for rational law enforcement on the border; thus suggesting that the minutemen are not rational for wanting to draw attention to that crazy violent and anarchic situation on the border. It is the irrationality of the administration's policy that would have us value, as citizens the devaluation of our citizenship, accept aggression by foreigners as something positive, replace the oaths to defend the states from foreign attack with lawless presidential whim, and want something as low as the Mexican government to be given power over our future.

Stuka said at April 8, 2005 5:33 AM:

Ned, I trust that you have reported your "friend" to the authorities for employinig illegals...?

Ned said at April 8, 2005 7:28 AM:

Stuka -

He said they were all legal. Who am I to question him?

Actually, we can throw all the effort we want into border control, but it will be only a part of the solution. Until there are real penalties for those who work here in violation of our laws and for those who employ them, we are only spinning our wheels. The recent $11,000,000 fine for Wal-Mart is a typical example. Wal-Mart has annual revenue of around $285 billion! The fine is the equivalent of an $11 fine for someone who makes $285,000 per year. What a big deterrent! If you really want to stop this kind of thing, make the fine $11 BILLION and put some of the Wal-Mart execs in the slammer. This will get their attention. Actually, I like Wal-Mart, and I don't want to single them out here, because they're far from the only offender.

As I said previously, there are powerful economic incentives for south-of-the-border folks to come here and work and powerful economic incentives for those who want to employ them. In the absence of corrective action by the government, economic self-interest will always triumph. (Those who have trouble with this concept should contact the well-known experts Karl Marx and V. I. Lenin - they can be reached on the ash heap of history). A legal guest-worker program is clearly needed - I just don't think there are too many Americanos who want to pick lettuce in Arizona for minimum wage. This would be beneficial to all parties. Clearly, though, it has to go further. For example, those who persist in working here illegally should face jail time upon conviction, followed by deportation and permanent exclusion from the US. Further violations should be considered felonies with stiff prison sentences. And similar penalties have to exist for employers - lasrge fines with mandatory jail time. If these steps were taken, along with stepped-up border security, we would stop this problem dead in its tracks.

Engineer-Poet said at April 8, 2005 8:15 AM:

Nah, Ned, going Draco on the asses of employers of illegals will just turn off the tap of sympathy for your goals.

Appeal to taxpayers' self-interest instead:  Note how much each illegal is costing the citizens.  Bill that cost back to the employers of illegals.  Watch how illegal aliens become unemployable and deport themselves without any further effort... or any reaction beside yawns (except from the permanently-indignant victim advocate class).

Jim said at April 8, 2005 10:18 AM:

who would do the jobs at the georgia carpet mill if we were successful at limiting immigration?
or would he just move his factory to where the workers are?
or would he accept lower quality?
or accept higher wage costs?
or force him to make capital investment for an automated factory?

Daveg said at April 8, 2005 10:37 AM:

In Japan they choose automation and seem to be doing just fine. For example, japan has a trade surplus with China.

The slave holding south had the cheapest labor you could get. There economy was not very good, and the had litle reason to innovate.

Randall Parker said at April 8, 2005 11:17 AM:


Think about what your friend is doing. Each generation of illegals will have legal children here. Those children will be far less motivated to work hard. They will never have known the deprivations of Mexico. So new illegals will constantly need to be brought in to serve as the next generation of willing cheap labor.

You are missing two other points here.

First, if manufacturing jobs have such a low value to the economy that they pay only minimum wages then they are not that important to have here. We need high salary jobs, not low salary jobs.

Second, the whole reason the argument has been made to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States is to give Americans jobs. If the only way we can keep manufacturing jobs in the US is to bring in illegals who will have higher crime rates, children who amount to little, and more make demands on government for medical and other social services then this really defeats the point of having those factories here in the first place.

Bob Badour said at April 8, 2005 11:20 AM:


You don't appear to be listening. Why should the taxpayers of America pay huge sums to educate, to medicate and to incarcerate a huge underclass so that some land speculator in Arizona can make a killing by turning unproductive desert into a lettuce field? History around the world has demonstrated clearly that no such thing as a guest worker exists. Every guest worker program -- without exception -- has led to a large, disenfranchised, permanent underclass.

If the land speculator cannot pick the lettuce profitably and get it to market, maybe we should buy lettuce from somewhere else. Or maybe we need to spend a few extra hundred dollars over our lifetimes to pay an extra nickle per head of lettuce instead of many thousands or tens of thousands over our lifetimes to pay the extraordinary costs of caring for an unproductive underclass.

Derek Copold said at April 8, 2005 11:50 AM:


That factory owner would have to start paying for his workers instead of having the government subsidize them, as is happening with illegals. The factory owners might get away with paying ridiculously low wages for illegals under the table, but the rest of us pick up the tab for those illegals in schooling, emergency room costs and the increase in crime. Essentially, that factory worker is engaging in theft.

Most don't move to Mexico, at any rate, because of the corruption down there that negates any gain in lower salaries. Essentially, by using illegals, these employers enjoy the low wages of the Third World while also enjoying the benefits of a first-world political culture (built and paid for by the rest of us).

Jim said at April 8, 2005 3:17 PM:

ok, i can see i have an unpopular view on this topic... but i persist, sorry in advance for the long-winded post


i think regarding the manufacturing jobs, you're missing a point - that when you lose a manufacturer of components you lose the whole factory, including an array of positions from low-paying to high-paying. the only such small companies left are those with a particular niche, if they're just making a standard, commoditized product then that factory is long gone or completely automated, so that case is a moot point.

the reason why you would want a factory or farm(even if completely automated and no jobs are involved) is because they make exportable goods that can be traded to offset our trade imbalance.

and regarding the whole issue of hispanics don't have productive offspring, i think that's bogus. especially the people who have been working so hard for such little pay - i've known a number of such offspring, and they are all very hard workers (now, that hard-working immigrant's great-grandchildren - he might be a lazy american complaining about a new immigrant class taking his min. wage job and working too hard or an elite)

and i'll end by repeating that i don't believe illegals should be hired, but instead we should figure out how many low-cost workers we need, set the rate of immigration and really enforce the limit (it seems like irritating speed limits that the whole state ignores - i wish they'd set it to what was REALLY desired and enforce it) the proper rate is not zero because immigrants play an essential part in our economy. the proverbial lazy hillbillies at the carpet factory can't be allowed to restrict the pace of the economy.

Randall Parker said at April 8, 2005 3:40 PM:


I do not buy the argument that we have to bring cheap foreign workers here to keep jobs for Americans.

US companies have factories in Mexico where they can pay workers even lower wages. Some American managers and engineers work in those factories near the border and some even commute from the US to do so.

When I worked for General Motors back in the late 1980s I somehow accidentally got on an email list for a Chevy factory in Mexico and was getting English language reports of manufacturing problems that were regularly emailed to Detroit or maybe to Kokomo for resolution.

What we need is a smart and highly skilled work force. If the hillbillies are slowing down the economy it is because they are not that smart. The speed of the economy is increasingly determined by brains, not brawn. It is time for you to read Smart Fraction Theory and Smart Fraction Theory II.

We do not need any low cost workers at all. The labor market is like any other market. It has a price at which supply and demand will meet. Take away the dummies from this labor market and the smarties would not experience a lowering of their living standards. In fact, the opposite would happen on average.

Offspring: Sorry, 2nd generation are less motivated than 1st generation.

Jim said at April 8, 2005 4:50 PM:

so you're mainly against dumb and unskilled workers, and in particular you feel there are too many in this country already, so we don't need to add anymore?

Randall Parker said at April 8, 2005 4:52 PM:


Yes, in a nutshell.

Proborders said at April 8, 2005 9:07 PM:

GUYK, H. Clinton was elected to the Senate in 2000. In my opinion she can be elected President especially if the economy is bad before election day. If the economy is bad, Democrats may very well bring up how the economy was doing when Bill Clinton was President. Democrats might also mention President Hoover, who was defeated for reelection in 1932 by Democrat FDR.

Daveg, I would guess that black slaves who were brought to the Americas were not selected on the basis of their intelligence for the most part. Adult illegal aliens from Mexico not only have completed less formal education than like aged adult native-born Americans but probably also have lower IQs as well.

Interesting educational attainment data for US residents age 25-44 in 2004 (percentages are rounded and were calculated from U.S. Census Bureau data; hopefully there are few errors in the below data):

30% had a bachelor's or higher degree. Among the native-born it was 30%, and among the foreign-born it was 27%.

Non-Hispanic whites, 34%. Native-born whites, 34%. Non-Hispanic white immigrants, 46%.

Hispanics, 12%. Native-born Hispanics, 17%. Hispanic immigrants, 9%.

Blacks, 19%. Native-born blacks, 18%. Black immigrants, 26%.

Asians, 56%. Native-born Asians, 57%. Asian immigrants, 56%.

Interesting educational attainment data for immigrants age 25 and older living in the USA in 2004:

27.3% had a bachelor's or higher degree. For those born in Europe, Asia and Latin America the percentages were 36.4, 49.7, and 11.5, respectively. For those born in the Caribbean region, Central America (includes Mexico), and South America the percentages were 19.5, 6.1, and 29.7, respectively.

In general immigration from Mexico and Central America should be reduced.

max said at May 21, 2005 7:49 AM:


Chad Texas said at June 3, 2005 5:02 PM:

I am really worn out on the whole "jobs no American wants" phrase, which seems to justify illegal immigration into the US. I would gladly volunteer to work a season in a field IF it payed somewhat well. The reason it doesn't? Illegal immigration, and a surplus of uneducated under the table cut rate workers. Close the border. We have enough problems paying for our own, without paying for a rabbit like population of peoples moving in underneath us. Why not just close it all off, and force this "hard working" group of peoples, to make their own hard changes? Straighten Mexico out themselves, make their own country great. Of course it isn't easy, but if your hard working, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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