Skip to comments.[South Texas] Minutemen plan to watch McAllen construction sites Saturday
Posted on 02/09/2007 11:10:04 AM PST by SwinneySwitch
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McALLEN The Minutemen plan to conduct surveillance on city construction sites Saturday and recruit volunteers for a month-long border watch in April.
"We will try to confirm that there is illegal activity going on," said Olivia Garces, the Minutemens local director.
"Once we do establish that, we will be putting up a form on the building that says that they are breaking the law."
This is the first time the group, formally known as the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, has conducted an operation in McAllen. The group was founded in 2004 to advocate for stricter enforcement of immigration laws. Most operations in the Rio Grande Valley have been limited to Falfurrias, where Minutemen watched for illegal aliens using ranches to skirt the Falfurrias checkpoint.
Garces notified Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño of this weekends plans earlier this month.
"As long as they observe state law, as long as they respect local law enforcement and the civil rights of any individual that they encounter, they will have no problem with the Hidalgo County Sheriffs Office," Treviño said.
The volunteer group has not been as successful in the Valley as places like El Paso and Arizona. They have also received some scrutiny from civil and immigrant rights groups worried that armed civilians patrolling the border could lead to violence.
The Mexican Consulate in McAllen was unaware of the Minutemens plans, but spokeswoman Miriam Medel Garcia said the Mexican government continues to condemn the group.
"The Valley is different than other border cities," Garcia said. "Law enforcement and people here have many more connections to Mexico than in other border cities."
Minutemen volunteers plan to meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Microhotel in McAllen before heading to downtown McAllen, the river banks and sites in western Mission. The groups are set to conduct surveillance on construction sites where they have heard illegal immigrants are employed, Garces said. She said the volunteers plan to film what is going on at the site, but they will stop short of asking workers about their legal status.
"We have some people who work undercover at the sites," she said.
They will take note of any cash changing hands at the site, people driving cars with Mexican license plates and anyone who walks to work.
The sheriff questioned how the group planned to determine a workers legal status.
"How they can tell an individual is an illegal immigrant beyond a reasonable doubt to call federal authorities will be a trick on its own," he said. "Not even federal agents can do that, because its racial profiling."
Garces said they plan to call Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they find any violations.
Andres R. Martinez covers courts and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956) 683-4434.
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McAllen is 90% hispanic...It will be difficult to tell who is legal, and who is not.
Well, golly-gee-wiz! It's pretty simple actually. The key is that they are NOT federal agents, therefore they CAN use common sense.
Kinda leaves the feds eating Minutemen dust
Ha, I laugh in Miriam's general direction.
"It will be difficult to tell who is legal, and who is not."
I'm thinking if they don't show up for work on Saturday, maybe they're illegal?