Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Minutemen: patriots or racists?

A group of vigilant civilians organized as a Minutemen group are patrolling the U.S.-Canadian border in Washington state. The group, armed only with binoculars and radios, originally made headlines when they set up patrols along the U.S.-Mexico border. Since then they've been labeled by some as racists on an illegal mission and by others as law abiding patriotic citizens vigilant in protecting America.

Some, like Rosalinda Guillen of the Coalition for Professional Law and Border Enforcement, have a strong antagonistic attitude towards the Minutemen. Though they're patrolling the Canadian border, Rosalinda accuses the group of being anti-Mexican. I'm guessing she's referring to their activities along the southern border and isn't stupid enough to think Mexicans are coming across the Canadian border. She adds that the group is racist.

However, Tom Williams of the Northern Minuteman Project puts it simply: "We just want everyone to come through the ports of entry like you and I do, and sign in and let Homeland Security figure out if they're supposed to be here or not. We don't want people walking across the border and blowing something up."

What Rosey and other detractors of these vigilante groups don't (or refuse to) realize is that the Minutemen groups and the majority of America don't care if people immigrate to this country. What we don't want though is people illegally sneaking into the country for any purpose — to earn a living or for terrorist purposes. If it's okay for these immigrants or vagabonds to cross the border, then why do they sneak in at night, hidden in a vehicle or by any other duplicitous manner?



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