The call went out last autumn in Internet forums and forwarded e-mails: Are YOU interested in spending time along the Arizona border as part of a blocking force against entry into the U.S. by illegal aliens? The organizers, a small-town Arizona newspaper publisher and a retired Southern California accountant, were frustrated by what they viewed as the federal government’s inability to police its vast desert border with Mexico, reports the Washington Post.
Their Minuteman Project is set to begin tomorrow in Tombstone, Ariz. About 1,300 people are expected to show up, say the organizers, who hope to place them at half-mile intervals to monitor a 23-mile stretch of border said to be the most porous in the nation. “You sit here on a hilltop, and you watch people walk unabatedly into this country,” organizer Chris Simcox said. “It’s shocking.” But the project is raising safety concerns, and some fear it will attract extremists or spark violent confrontations. Mexican President Vicente Fox has condemned the program, calling it an “immigrant hunt.” President Bush echoed those concerns.