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Border-watch group: All talk?
Arizona Daily Star ^ | 02/22/05 | Michael Marizco

Posted on 02/22/2005 4:38:56 PM PST by SandRat

The Arizona Daily Star

Published: 02.22.2005
Border-watch group: All talk?
Plan for action against entrants may be just hype
By Michael Marizco

ARIZONA DAILY STAR

 

Civilian border-watch groups:

 

>> Minuteman Project: The organization is supposed to patrol the Cochise County border with hundreds of protesters beginning April 1.

 
>> Civil Homeland Defense: The Tombstone-based group began after founder Chris Simcox launched a "call to arms" in October 2002. The group patrols the border, and leaders say they apprehend illegal entrants and turn them over to the U.S. Border Patrol.
 
>> American Border Patrol: The border-watch group uses its Border Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle that records illegal entrants crossing the border, and broadcasts footage on its Web site. The group was incorporated in Arizona in 2002.
 
>> Ranch Rescue: A Texas-based group that was supposed to patrol ranchers' private lands on the border, apprehend illegal entrants and turn them over to the Border Patrol. The group fell into a state of disarray after its leader was arrested by the FBI in September 2004.
 
>> Roger Barnett: A Cochise County rancher who patrols his land east of Douglas and acknowledges apprehending illegal entrants and turning them over to the Border Patrol.
 

 

NewsTalk

 

>> Do border groups like the Minuteman Project serve a useful purpose? Why or why not?

 
>> Should the government take more steps to regulate them?
 

Share your thoughts on NewsTalk. Responses will be published on Wednesday's Opinion page. A sample will be selected to offer a range of opinions.

 
Please include your name, a phone number for verification and information about yourself, such as your occupation. Comments should reach us by noon.
 
E-mail: newsq@azstarnet.com. Limited to four sentences.
 
Phone messages: 434-4094. Please spell your name. Responses become Star property.
 

 

PALOMINAS - Picture it: hundreds of Americans fed up with illegal immigration, descending on the U.S.-Mexico border with sidearms, pepper spray, cell phones and binoculars, their numbers reinforced with airplanes and spotters on hilltops. Their goal: to stop illegal entrants from crossing or to shame the U.S. government into finally sealing that border.

 
Organizers of the Minuteman Project say the scenario will become reality on April 1.
 
But those organizers have made similar statements in the past, generating a steady barrage of newspaper and television stories. Meanwhile, law enforcement officials and other experts say they have failed to produce substantive results.
 
And some wonder if anything will be different this time, especially since the organizers have failed to provide any proof of the involvement of 550 people they say have volunteered already.
 
"Obviously, this is driven by a desire for publicity as opposed to a desire for results," Gov. Janet Napolitano said when asked about the project at a press conference recently.
 
The last "call to arms" issued by one of the Minuteman Project founders resulted in a handful of volunteers and unproven contentions that they had detained more than 4,000 illegal entrants. The irony is that the same media that have reported the membership numbers without verification could fuel the hype and incite a mob to head to the border this time around, officials say.
 
Whether anybody other than newspaper and television crews will show up this time is dubious, some say, given the organizers' history.
 
Consider:
 
>> In November 2002, Minuteman Project founder Chris Simcox said dozens of people would come out for his much-debated Civil Homeland Defense, the Tombstone-based group that was supposed to patrol the border, gather up illegal entrants, turn them over to the U.S. Border Patrol and show up the federal government for not doing its job.
 
The group has seized about 150 illegal entrants, a far cry from the 4,000 Simcox contends have been apprehended since he started two years ago, according to Miguel Escobar, Mexican consul in Douglas. The consulate responds to every citizen's encounter.
 
By contrast, Escobar has tracked at least 65 incidents in which citizens stopped entrants since 1999, when groups and individuals such as Cochise rancher Roger Barnett, American Border Patrol and Ranch Rescue began apprehensions in Cochise County.
 
>> The Border Patrol has had three to five instances in which citizens were standing with a captured group of illegal entrants in the past year, said Tucson Sector spokesman Andy Adame. By contrast, the agency receives 300 to 500 anonymous calls from other civilians each month, he said. The agency has adopted a "wait and see" attitude toward the Minuteman Project.
 
>> A handful of people showed up at the first organizational meeting of the Civil Homeland Defense on Dec. 7, 2002. Fifty were expected.
 
>> On Jan. 1, 2003, two volunteers showed up for the first training session. Four reporters were there to greet them.
 

National media attention

 

This time, the newest border-plugging effort is garnering media attention across Arizona and nationally, from Los Angeles to Virginia, weeks before any volunteers are even expected to arrive.

 
"The problem is, for some reason, it's gotten a lot more publicity," said Paul Charlton, U.S. attorney for Arizona. "My fear is it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy."
 
Fueling the media hype: The "sexy" topic of hundreds of people going into Cochise County - with its Wild West roots dating back to the O.K. Corral - to do a job the federal government can't do and that is just too good to pass up, even if it's not really true, experts and officials say.
 
A recent news story reports "nearly 500 volunteers have already joined the Minuteman Project." Another story puts the number at 1,000 volunteers.
 
Since November, dozens of newspaper, radio and television crews have descended on the border, intent on a big story of an armed militia hunting down illegal border crossers.
 
On a recent ride-along, Simcox and two volunteers did not encounter any illegal entrants but did take along five reporters and photographers from the Arizona Daily Star, Channel 33 in Sierra Vista and National Public Radio in Switzerland. Using a trash-strewed spot of desert as a platform, Simcox railed against illegal immigration.
 
He says he and Minuteman Project co-founder James Gilchrist have rounded up 550 people to patrol the Cochise County-Mexico border for a month starting April 1. But neither man would turn over any list of volunteers to verify that many people had signed up.
 
The newspaper and broadcast news attention the project is receiving makes the group seem more effective than it really is, media experts say.
 
"There is an attraction to the vigilante in American culture … so it's not too surprising that there'd be an attempt to romanticize this kind of thing," said Jim Naureckas, editor of Extra!, a magazine published by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a national media-watch group.
 
The story, involving illegal-immigration protests fueled by a vigilante group calling out hundreds of people, centers on a "sexy, intriguing topic," said Bill Mitchell, editor of Poynter Online, the Web site of The Poynter Institute, a media training organization. He spoke generally - because he wasn't familiar with the project - about how the media can create a story that may not be there.
 
"What's the evidence that there is a serious group of people actually going to do it?" Mitchell asked, outlining the media's reporting obligation. "You have to be skeptical and consistent in nailing down what's going to happen, as opposed to writing down someone's claim in advance."
 
But Simcox, who enjoys relating anecdotes and is hard to pin down on specifics, has learned to use the media, acknowledging that Civil Homeland Defense is really "just for show."
 
By his estimates, he has given at least 400 interviews since issuing his "call to arms" through his weekly newspaper, the Tombstone Tumbleweed, in 2002. That includes 60 interviews since December on the Minuteman Project.
 
"The media just doesn't stop coming," Simcox said. "I've done Germany, France, England, Spain, Korea and Japan."
 

Sheriff wary of problems

 

Meanwhile, area residents worry about what the project will bring if it does materialize.

 
If anything actually comes of the movement, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever foresees problems ranging from the possibility that the event will attract a criminal element to the chance that protesters will trespass on private property.
 
Palominas resident John Waters supports the effort and plans to offer discounted food and free parking to Minuteman volunteers at his restaurant, the Palominas Trading Post, southeast of Sierra Vista and less than two miles from the border. He is tired of the cut fences, slashed water lines, garbage and "disease" that illegal entrants bring.
 
Some residents worry that the group will drive drug and immigrant smugglers to even more violent tactics and leave chaos in their wake.
 
"It's going to cause problems for the people that live here, especially if they're carrying firearms," Clinton Cox said as he pitched horseshoes in the front yard of his home, off Arizona 92, east of Sierra Vista.
 
"If they pull a weapon on any of those Mexicans down there, they'll be dead," said his friend, Tony Miller, grinning. "Those smugglers don't carry 'side-arms.' "
 
And in some cases, the people who are the cause of the protest - illegal entrants - aren't particularly worried.
 
Walking across the border back onto the gritty streets of Naco, Sonora, a group of deportees only grinned or shrugged when asked if the project would deter their crossing.
 
"What of it?" asked Miguel Martínez, 26, who was captured in the Cochise County desert. "I'll go around them, obviously."
 
 

>> Contact Michael Marizco at 520-573-4213 or at mmarizco@azstarnet.com.
 


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Mexico; News/Current Events; US: Arizona; US: California; US: New Mexico; US: Texas; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: aliens; border; bordersecurity; dea; douglas; drugs; fbi; illegals; immigrants; military; militia; minutemanproject; naco; otms; sheriff; tombstone

1 posted on 02/22/2005 4:39:06 PM PST by SandRat
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To: SandRat

Viva La Raza!! Viva Aztlan!! Viva MALDEF!! Viva La Mexico!!!


2 posted on 02/22/2005 4:40:48 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: HiJinx; Spiff; idratherbepainting; JackelopeBreeder; AZHSer; Sabertooth; Marine Inspector; ...

I don't write 'em I just post 'em for discussion.


3 posted on 02/22/2005 4:41:42 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: gubamyster; Happy2BMe; Travis McGee; B4Ranch; AuntB; FBD; broadsword; FITZ; Joe Hadenuff

(((PING)))


4 posted on 02/22/2005 4:43:14 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: SandRat

Palominas resident John Waters supports the effort and plans to offer discounted food and free parking to Minuteman volunteers at his restaurant, the Palominas Trading Post, southeast of Sierra Vista and less than two miles from the border. He is tired of the cut fences, slashed water lines, garbage and "disease" that illegal entrants bring.

>>>

Keep the coffee hot and fresh...


5 posted on 02/22/2005 4:44:18 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: SandRat

"If they pull a weapon on any of those Mexicans down there, they'll be dead," said his friend, Tony Miller, grinning. "Those smugglers don't carry 'side-arms.' "

Which is exactly why Nepolatino needs to quit being so smug and get with the program on border control instead of being such a smug b**ch.


6 posted on 02/22/2005 4:46:39 PM PST by deepFR
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To: ApesForEvolution

Viva Colt! Viva Winchester! Viva Benelli!
Viva Heckler & Koch!

Viva Predator! Viva Apache!
Viva "Puff", and "Spooky" too!

Come one, come all,
But come legally or not at all!


7 posted on 02/22/2005 4:49:34 PM PST by HKMk23
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To: ApesForEvolution
Here's your first
8 posted on 02/22/2005 4:52:27 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: deepFR
but you don't understand as a DEMOC how else is she going to get reelected?
9 posted on 02/22/2005 4:54:18 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat
Thanks...

10 posted on 02/22/2005 4:56:22 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: ApesForEvolution
Viva La Raza!! Viva Aztlan!! Viva MALDEF!! Viva La Mexico!!!

Viva La Nafta!! Viva La CAFTA!! Viva La FTAA!!

/Viva La Sarcasm!!

/jasper

11 posted on 02/22/2005 4:57:14 PM PST by Jasper ("Power flows from the barrel of a 10mm pistol")
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To: SandRat

If the group does nothing more than raise the issue and make it something that congressmen and senators get questions about, they are doing good.


12 posted on 02/22/2005 4:57:21 PM PST by ikka
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: ApesForEvolution

It's on the house. FR-Canteen rules.


14 posted on 02/22/2005 5:00:50 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: ApesForEvolution
Joe Hadenuff

Still on your ping list? Thought he went bye-bye.

15 posted on 02/22/2005 5:06:58 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Protectionism is economic ignorance!)
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Cactuspete

I wouldnt join this group for all the tea in China. Any fool can tell right now that if it comes between a Mexican being arrested and a Vigilante being arrested the Vigilante is going to jail. Cops dont like Vigilantes, it frightens them that someone else may do their job.God help the poor guy who shoots a mexican drug smuggler, The smuggler will be a martyr and the shooter will get 20 years.


17 posted on 02/22/2005 5:15:06 PM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: Cactuspete

Just keep it holstered. Sheriff Deaver is only a tiny bit nicer than Sheriff Aripio but not much.


18 posted on 02/22/2005 5:19:03 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: SandRat
550 people

I hope 5,000 show up.

20 posted on 02/22/2005 6:01:36 PM PST by janetgreen
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To: ApesForEvolution

thanks for the ping to this AFE

Regards


21 posted on 02/22/2005 6:03:48 PM PST by FBD ("A nation without borders is not a nation." -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: ApesForEvolution

He serves good food...I'd pay for it, anyway, whether or not he offered it for free.


22 posted on 02/22/2005 8:32:08 PM PST by HiJinx (www .ProudPatriots.org ~ Operation Easter/Passover ~ February 15 - March 4, 2005)
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To: sgtbono2002

You may know a lot of LEOs, but you don't know Sheriff Dever.

Ever wondered why no civilians are arrested for interfering with the Border Patrol in Cochise County? It ain't because we aren't down here helping the BP. It's because we haven't done anything for which we can be arrested.

And I don't believe anything is going to happen this time around, either.


23 posted on 02/22/2005 8:35:20 PM PST by HiJinx (www .ProudPatriots.org ~ Operation Easter/Passover ~ February 15 - March 4, 2005)
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To: Cactuspete

There are a ton of BP officers here, too...so I'm wondering what they knew that had them staking out US60.

Or, is ICE really misusing their assets? I guess that isn't such a far-fetched scenario.


24 posted on 02/22/2005 8:37:19 PM PST by HiJinx (www .ProudPatriots.org ~ Operation Easter/Passover ~ February 15 - March 4, 2005)
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To: Cactuspete; jveritas; bayourod; Howlin
Theres a lot of people from here planning on going down to join in the Minutemen effort, and they are all planning on going armed.

Which means it is going to end in nothing but a disaster.

25 posted on 02/22/2005 8:41:57 PM PST by COEXERJ145
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To: COEXERJ145

Really? It's already a disaster. Heard of MS-13?


26 posted on 02/22/2005 8:47:18 PM PST by HiJinx (www .ProudPatriots.org ~ Operation Easter/Passover ~ February 15 - March 4, 2005)
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To: SandRat
The government should be doing the job that the taxpayers are paying it to do.It doesn't matter whether these guys are legitimate or not because they are doing a good job of pressuring the government and getting the lazy media to cover the issue.The way we leave our borders open would be comparable to building a prison with no walls.
27 posted on 02/22/2005 9:06:48 PM PST by rdcorso (We Are A Nation Fighting Against The Deadly Disease Of Liberalism)
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To: COEXERJ145
And this how these morons in minutemen project will end any attempt to solve the borders control problem. Some fool will shoot few Mexicans crossing the borders, there will be an enormous backlash over the massacre, and it will be all over for having any solution for the illegal immigration issue.
28 posted on 02/22/2005 9:15:43 PM PST by jveritas
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To: sgtbono2002

Good point, see my post # 28.


29 posted on 02/22/2005 9:17:45 PM PST by jveritas
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To: SandRat

Border-watch group: All talk?
Plan for action against entrants may be just hype

No. I know several personally that are taking their vacations just to attend. They're all upstanding people.

Most of the AZ politicians are owned..read bribed..by the cheap labor cabal. I'd like to see their offshore accounts. With rare exception, they all hate the citizen iniatives. They're open border people. They do everything in their power to silence those trying to stop the invasion.


30 posted on 02/22/2005 11:33:42 PM PST by ETERNAL WARMING (We have the best politicians corporate money can buy)
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To: HiJinx

My friend I wish you luck , but be careful, be very careful one mis step and the Feds will be on you like hip pockets.


31 posted on 02/23/2005 5:10:52 AM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: sgtbono2002

SFC, USA, Retired

I'm already a Fed, they don't bother me.


32 posted on 02/23/2005 5:43:32 AM PST by HiJinx (www .ProudPatriots.org ~ Operation Easter/Passover ~ February 15 - March 4, 2005)
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To: jveritas

You may have a good point, but I doubt it.

My Congressman is holding a town hall here this evening specifically to cover border issues. It's a darned good thing, too...if he were to cover anything else, we'd probably run him out of town on a rail.

I'll pose your point to him and get back to you with his response.


33 posted on 02/23/2005 5:46:08 AM PST by HiJinx (www .ProudPatriots.org ~ Operation Easter/Passover ~ February 15 - March 4, 2005)
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To: COEXERJ145; sgtbono2002; jveritas
This must piss you guys off:

The Minuteman Project welcomes participants regardless of gender, race, color, creed, age, or physical disability. An enthusiastic invitation is extended to current and former members of any law enforcement organization, or military veterans with reconnaisance (LRRP) or intelligence gathering experience.

Here these guys aren't showing any signs of having racist leanings, instead they are actively looking for current and/or ex lawmen to join them.

Yup, this is just the kind of thing that a bunch of wild eyed shooter vigilantes would do, ain't it? Ask for people who are very familiar with the law to join them in protecting our border.

I know if I was going to shoot an illegal alien the best man to have behind me is someone familiar with his handcuffs and giving testimony before a jury.

34 posted on 02/23/2005 7:38:11 AM PST by B4Ranch
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To: B4Ranch

Man: you are way off base with me. I have no objections to citizens trying to stop illegal imigration. I dont care what flavor they are if they join you I dont believe you will have many cops joining you. I like the idea, I am saying you guys are setting yourselves up to get in some deep trouble and I urge caution. Your stopping illegals doesnt piss me off at all. I just dont want fellow Americans standing behind bars for Vigilate actions.


35 posted on 02/23/2005 7:56:06 AM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: B4Ranch

My advice to you is not to join them.


36 posted on 02/23/2005 8:49:27 AM PST by jveritas
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To: sgtbono2002

>> I just dont want fellow Americans standing behind bars for Vigilate actions.<<

What in the world makes you think these people are acting as "Vigilates"? Because they are attempting to show America what a poor job the BP is doing?

Try to get this picture in your head.

1000 illegals come across the border in a four to six hour time span. Now the BP is out of resources and the next 4000 continue on unabated to American cities.

Got that? Okay, most of America doesn't. What are they going to say when video tapes show them the normal course of events every night?

Hopefully they will call their Congressmen and demand that a few thousand more BP Agents be immediately assigned where they are needed.

The potential for a serious mishappening is if the observers should be discovered by a group smuggling drugs and shooting starts. Hopefully the UAV's and aircraft will be able to keep the groupd separated.

I have known a few of the men who have been doing this type of activity for a few years now. They are nothing more than observers as the illegals pass their stationary positions. (Not one of the men I am in contact with has been anywhere close to even drawing their weapons.)

A call to the BP allows them to station their agents where the illegals are expected to join at the highway for transportation further inland.

The field agents appreciate the assistance from the locals because it allows them to be more effective. Management, well that's a different story.

The President authorized another 200 agents and then funding was given for 200. Who is bs'ing the Americans? Yes, the White House is.

It is going to be a shock to the system when America sees on video just what is happening down on our borders. This is a problem that can be corrected with a few hundred more agents, not shoot outs.


37 posted on 02/23/2005 9:48:12 AM PST by B4Ranch
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To: sgtbono2002

"I just dont want fellow Americans standing behind bars for Vigilate actions."

Funny......

A neighbor sees a burglery in progress and calls 911 and all is good, thats just a neighborhood watch.

An American sees someone breaking into the country and dials 911 and they are a racist vigilante.

Real funny.......


38 posted on 02/23/2005 10:39:17 PM PST by BorderResident
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To: BorderResident

Good point.


39 posted on 02/23/2005 10:49:35 PM PST by secks
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To: ApesForEvolution
All this time we thought you were too F-up to deal with human interaction. Now it turns out it's all the fault of Mexican immigrants. So sorry we thought you were the problem;. Some day American will come to understand that your venomous hatred of Mexicans was really beneficial to the great American melting pot. America just needs more hate and venom against those who look differently than what ever you are.

Good job Ape! Viva La banana brains!!!!

40 posted on 02/24/2005 10:29:36 PM PST by Once-Ler (Beating a dead horse for NeoCon America)
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To: Once-Ler

LOL

Nice try once-alump.

Which of those groups do you do your bidding for?


41 posted on 02/25/2005 9:18:41 AM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: B4Ranch

2000 ordered, 200 paid for BTTT


42 posted on 02/25/2005 9:19:30 AM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: B4Ranch
An enthusiastic invitation is extended to current and former members of any law enforcement organization, or military veterans with reconnaisance (LRRP) or intelligence gathering experience.

. . . or to those who SAY they have that kind of experience. (c8

Look for a lot of "Stolen Valor" types to show up.

43 posted on 02/25/2005 9:21:38 AM PST by Poohbah ("Hee Haw" was supposed to be a television show, not a political movement.)
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To: COEXERJ145
Theres a lot of people from here planning on going down to join in the Minutemen effort, and they are all planning on going armed.

Which means it is going to end in nothing but a disaster.

I thought you were from Texas. I didn't realize people were so girly about guns down there.

44 posted on 02/25/2005 10:14:00 AM PST by jmc813 (Fiesta in the making at the Moontower)
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To: jveritas

Another HCI lacky joins the fun.


45 posted on 02/25/2005 10:15:03 AM PST by jmc813 (Fiesta in the making at the Moontower)
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To: SandRat

Bump.


46 posted on 02/25/2005 10:29:23 AM PST by Missouri
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