The Minuteman Project: Colombia Comes to Arizona

Billings, Montana

In an online recruiting effort that would impress Joe Trippi, approximately 500 well armed individuals known as The Minutemen, have come together in hopes they can guard the vast expanse of the US-Mexican border out in Arizona. Their mission: Deter illegal immigrants and protect these great United States of America.

Taking their name from the hand-picked forces from the 17th and 18th Century American militias that were selected “to fight at a minute’s notice” — the 21st century Minutemen come from all over the US, and have congregated in Arizona where they plan to act out their wildest Wyatt Earp fantasies. With their shotguns and egos fully loaded, the militia has set up camps up and down the border in Cochise County, Arizona, the supposed epicenter of illegal immigration into the United States.

“People have this impression we [are] a paramilitary group coming here to stir up trouble. It’s so hard to convince them that … we’re peaceful,” Joel Segal, a young member of the Minutemen told the Arizona Republic. “Obviously, we’re armed, but that’s just a part of us being out here. That doesn’t mean that we’re aggressive. That doesn’t mean that we’re violent.”

Yeah right. Then what the hell are the guns for? Gopher hunting? It’s not that they don’t have a right to patrol the US border, or pack a loaded weapon. Sure they do have those rights. But do the Minutemen really think Mexicans sneaking across the border are looking for another Alamo? No, scratch that. Forget I even asked.

Doubtful the Minutemen are capable of peering below the surface of the complex issue of US immigration. Like, say, what is it that the US government is doing to Mexico that may be increasing non-legal immigration? One answer: NAFTA.

If it is their own jobs they are so worried about, the Minutemen are patrolling the wrong borders. Non-legals by and large are employed in the darker sectors of the US economy — ones most Americans aren’t willing to take part in.

All a skeptic need do is drive through the fruit fields of California, take a peak into the sweat-shops in New York City, or visit a bloody slaughter house out in Greeley, Colorado, to catch a glimpse of the grand Mexican life in the USA.

No, the real threat to American jobs isn’t illegal immigrants. It’s the outsourcing of entire industries to places like India that have shoved a knife in the back of the US worker.

The Minutemen may also be surprised to learn the following: According to the US Census administered in 2000, there are approximately 8,705,419 non-legal foreign-born persons living in the US. Of that number, 4,787,980 were from countries other than Mexico. In fact, almost 40% of all US immigrants were not even Hispanic. [1]

Well over 1.2 million were from Asian countries, with another 1.1 million flying in from European lands — not to mention the hundreds of thousands who have come in from Africa and the Middle East. The majority of these immigrants didn’t cross the Mexican border — they flew over on airplanes.

“The message is, if you have enough manpower at the border, you can stop illegals from coming across,” Cathy Cushman of the Minutemen Project told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

No question Cathy and her pals have their work cut out for them. Even so, I’d love to see the nutty Minutemen haul their arsenal and set up camp in the JFK airport.

Okay, you’re right. Let’s not give them any ideas.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, to be published by Common Courage Press. You can pre-order a copy at discounted rate at www.BrickBurner.org. Josh can be reached at: Joshua@BrickBurner.org.


[1] Note: this number includes “people who are here legally but are not yet included in the official estimates of legal migrants and refugees. It also includes people in ‘quasi-legal’ status who are awaiting action on their legal migration requests.”






More articles by:

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

March 22, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Italy, Germany and the EU’s Future
David Rosen
The Further Adventures of the President and the Porn Star
Gary Leupp
Trump, the Crown Prince and the Whole Ugly Big Picture
The Hudson Report
Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons and Debt in Antiquity
Steve Martinot
The Properties of Property
Binoy Kampmark
Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and Surveillance Capitalism
Jeff Berg
Russian to Judgment
Gregory Barrett
POSSESSED! Europe’s American Demon Must Be Exorcised
Robby Sherwin
What Do We Do About Facebook?
Sam Husseini
Trump Spokesperson Commemorates Invading Iraq by Claiming U.S. Doesn’t Dictate to Other Countries; State Dept. Defends Invasion
Rob Okun
Students: Time is Ripe to Add Gender to Gun Debate
Michael Barker
Tory Profiteering in Russia and Putin’s Debt of Gratitude
March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am a Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us