Does the group “Minute Men” ring a bell with you?
There are literally thousands of anti-immigrant groups around the United Sates ranging from comparatively mild lobby organizations all the way to extreme white supremacist groups. However, the Minute Men is/was the most publicly visible civilian group aiming to curb illegal immigration on the country’s southern border and, after spawning many copycats and subsidiaries, they have again decided to descend upon the border with backpacks and Gadsden flags, vowing to fight against what they described as an ‘invasion’.
At its height, the group was the face of one pillar of the conservative movement that would later lend its energy to the founding of the national Tea Party movement and thus attracted hundreds of civilian volunteers and had a large role in ginning up anti-immigration fever nationally.
All of their efforts have been closely monitored by civil and human rights groups like The Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League and the ACLU, all of which considered them in line with many other known hate groups.
However, The Minuteman Project almost disappeared after about 2010 due to legal charges against its leaders and a subdued political climate with regard to immigration. However, with the recent news of children crossing the border and creating a humanitarian crisis, the group is now trying for a comeback:
Calling it “Operation Normandy” The Minute Men plan to organize at least 3,500 volunteers to patrol the Southern border as unofficial border ‘soldiers’ against what its founder Jim Gilchrist describes as an invasion coming into the United States from Mexico.
Gilchrist estimates the effort will “dwarf” his previous call issued in April 2005 for Minute men to come to the border and now wants to cover the 2,000-mile border from San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas with Operation Normandy, scheduling it to begin on May 1, 2015.
In a call to action, Gilchrist describes:
“It is very clever of the pro-illegal alien, anti-rule of law criminal elements in Mexico and the United States to use unwitting children as weapons in their assault upon the sovereignty of the United States.....These criminals know very well that the U. S. Border Patrol will warmly welcome these children and essentially provide protective and privileged custody for them indefinitely, until they are in the custody of someone, some organization, or some family in the United States. Once established in a household or an orphanage, each of the children will be followed by several dozen relatives and friends also from south of the border.”
So will this effort either succeed in re-hashing conservative anger over the immigration situation or will it, in fact, backfire in years to come as more and more Latinos lean politically left because of their perceived position within an energized GOP?
In an e-mail to conservative outlet WND, Gilchrist describes:
“If you are familiar with the Normandy invasion of France in 1944 then you have an idea how large and logistically complicated this event will be."