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The border trip and Minuteman Project - CAIRCO history - part 2

This is the second part in the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform History series.

The Border Trip

As a dedicated conservationist and lifelong environmentalist, I [Fred Elbel] organized a trip in April, 2004 to the Arizona border to see first-hand the devastation caused by the illegal immigration invasion. Author Frosty Wooldridge (How to Live a Life of Adventure) and videographer Gary H. joined me. Richard H. and Henry Harvey gave us personal tours of the border south of Sierra Vista. We spent pitch black evenings using night scopes; we examined massive "layup areas" and endless piles of trash and human waste. We were told that we were the first "outsiders" to document the invasion.

We spent time with Glen Spencer of AmericanPatrol.com (do see their daily news updates) and watched them operate their amazing remotely-operated reconnaissance airplane.

We interviewed Roger Barnett, who single-handedly has apprehended over 12,000 illegal aliens on his ranch, and just fought a lawsuit by illegal aliens that was supported by MALDEF and the bigoted Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) .

We visited the Tohono O'odham Indian Nation. We met with former Border Patrol Agents John Slagle (read his book) and Gunny McCann, who spent several days showing us what the mainstream media will never show America - the destruction, trash and rape trees. I then arranged a personalized tour of Organ Pipe National Monument by an anonymous park ranger. At the time, 30% of the once-pristine park was closed due to danger from drug runners and illegal aliens. Now it is much worse.

Here is a collection of photos of border incursions.

The Minuteman Project

In early 2005, Mike McGarry suggested, "These guys are doing a month on the border in April. One thing we do know how to do is media. Let's go help." That was the beginning of a great adventure - and contribution. We spent the first few days in Tombstone sending out press releases and contacting the media. At the end of the first week when Mike had to return home, it was clear that we had a tiger by the tail.

I stayed for the entire month as Media Liaison. My typical work day began at 6:30am. The phones literally did not stop ringing until 7pm. Then I drove down to the border posts to take photos of volunteers, then back to Sierra Vista to get high speed internet access to update the MMP website with current information. (Here's the original Minuteman website archive with photos.) Then back to the Tombstone Tumbleweed headquarters where I shared floor space for the first few weeks with a few resident scorpions and spiders.

The volume of media calls, talk shows and interviews was simply astounding. More surprising was the fact that the international media simply showed up on our doorstep. We met with reporters from the Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, France and Sweden. We did telephone interviews with media in Canada, Venezuela, and Japan. I spent considerable time with reporters from Spain who had the same concern in their country, as the EU now permits unrestricted travel within the EU to anyone who could sneak across their border.

I did a lengthy interview late one evening with a woman reporter from Mexico who had mustered the courage to visit us with a friend and translator. She asked if I knew what the Mexican papers were saying - that we were apprehending people at gunpoint and forcibly separating babies from their mothers. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Hannity broadcast live from the border. Lou Dobbs paid a surprise visit. MMP leaders visited Washington at the request of Congressman Tancredo to speak to the Immigration Reform Caucus. El Presidente Bush called us "vigilantes" while he negotiated the Security Prosperity Partnership (see Society for American Sovereignty).

(See the article The Minuteman Project - A Month on the Border in The Social Contract journal. I highly recommend this journal to anyone concerned about the future of our nation. (Read it online).

Thanks to everyone who participated on the MMP, including Bob and Robert, Wanda, Kent and Jackie and everyone else who volunteered their time to protect America against the invasion. Never underestimate the impact that you - as a concerned sovereign American - can have.

- Fred Elbel