Vigilantes and Minutemen

President Bush and his administration have the right idea on many issues, but fail miserably when they attempt to address the growing problem of illegal immigration. The recently concluded Minuteman Project points up these shortcomings clearly.

First, a bit of history: the Minuteman Project was formed by ordinary citizens from across the nation who formed a coalition to patrol a porous section of Arizona border. During the month of April, these volunteers watched over several miles of border frequently used by Mexicans to gain illegal entry to the U.S. While they were on watch, the Minutemen received all kinds of negative press predicting violent clashes, etc. (None ever occurred, despite many Minutemen being legally armed.) President Bush went so far as to call the volunteers vigilantes.

To paraphrase, a vigilante is one who takes the matters of law enforcement in his or her own hands or condones the same. In this regard the Minutemen were vigilantes, but so what? They broke no laws and did a job the U.S Border Patrol is unwilling and/or unable to do.

The Minutemen did a great job, alerting Border Patrol agents when they saw illegals making their way across the border. Their vigilance resulted in the arrest of several illegals and a drastic reduction in the number of border crossings. Area residents summed up their feelings regarding the Minuteman Project in a half-page ad in a local newspaper which thanked them for the most peaceful month they had experienced in a long time and for doing a job the government won’t – closing the border.

Now we learn from several Border Patrol agents that supervisors within the organization have given orders that illegals crossing the border where the Minutemen patrolled should not be arrested. The volunteer project can’t be perceived as having been a success, you see.

Bush’s comments regarding the Minutemen, his proposal of amnesty for illegals already in the U.S., and his failure to hire sufficient numbers of Border Patrol agents to do their job and to allow them to do it show his failure to properly address the problem.

Mexican President Vicente Fox knows that the money illegal aliens send back to their kin in Mexico is his country’s second largest source of income. He has a vested interest in keeping our borders open. What is President Bush’s motivation?

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