PHOENIX — It was a decade ago a controversial group — that has since fallen out of the spotlight — set lawn chairs in the desert to keep an eye on the border between the United States and Mexico.
Now the Minuteman Project is returning to the border after a surge in illegal immigrants from Central America entering the U.S., touching off a humanitarian and political firestorm.
Group founder and president Jim Gilchrist said he will spend the next 10 months recruiting volunteers for Operation Normandy, which will be a monthlong border effort to keep illegal immigrants from making their way into the United States from Mexico.
“We are angry,” he said. “This lack of control of our borders and the lack of enforcing immigration laws is the source of a national anger and we have to bring national awareness to it. I would expect at least 35,00 participants and that doesn’t include militias that will jump in.”
Gilchrist said the federal government struggles to secure the border and now the undocumented immigrants pouring into Texas have sparked an outrage which will bring volunteers from across the nation on their own dime and time.
“It’s time for a revolution but an ideological revolution to bring us back to common sense,” he said. “We are essentially immobilized to do anything in this country anymore either because of political paralysis or partisan politics and it’s frustrating to us as voters and as people who fought the wars in this country and pay the taxes.”
Some of the members will be armed, as they were during previous border watch events between 2005 and 2010. Gilchrist said there’s one rule: Stay within the law.
“If people want to carry firearms, as long as it’s legal, I have no problem with it. I have no authority over what they do or say.”
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development