The leader of the nation’s largest civilian border patrol movement plans to launch a monthlong project Saturday but expects less than half as many volunteers as originally projected and is pleading to members for cash, reports the Arizona Republic. Chris Simcox, head of the Arizona-based Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, estimated last spring that a patrol along the nation’s northern and southern borders to stop illegal immigration scheduled for Oct. 1 would draw 10,000 volunteers. But he acknowledged last week that only about 4,000 have signed up.
Infighting, charges of racism and allegations of financial mismanagement have created rifts within the movement, an expansion of a volunteer border patrol effort known as the Minuteman Project tested along Arizona’s border in April that received widespread media attention. Bill Parmley, former coordinator for Texas, quit after alleging Simcox botched the organization’s financing. He also warned that some members of his Goliad, Texas, chapter, which recently was shut down, were “racists” and “wanted to go after Mexicans as a whole,” not simply report undocumented immigrants to the U.S. Border Patrol.