FEDS PROPOSE CITIZEN PATROLS
U.S. BORDER HONCHO CONSIDERS CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS
By Mike Blair
The possibility of using civilians to assist the Border Patrol in policing both America’s northern and southern borders was offered recently, mostly as a
trial balloon, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner.
The proposal was immediately rejected by the Department of Homeland Security. However, Bonner indicated that the Border Patrol was considering training volunteers to create “something akin to a Border Patrol auxiliary.”
Bonner’s proposal was not met with enthusiasm by the Bush administration.
The plan came as the result of the Minutemen Project deploying 15,000 civilian volunteers to man observation posts and conduct foot and horseback patrols along the Mexican border from Texas to California and the northern border with Canada from Maine to Washington.
The Minutemen are deploying patrols in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in the south and Idaho, Maine, Michigan, North Dakota, Vermont, Minnesota, and Washington in the north.
Bonner indicated that the Minutemen volunteers had brought considerable attention to the border crisis last April and had done so peacefully. He warned that deploying large numbers of project volunteers across several states could cause someone to get hurt if they are not properly trained.
Bonner told the House Government Reform Committee that the Border Patrol had over the years valued the support of civilians and that he wanted to “determine if there is a way to more effectively harness citizen volunteers.
“We are concerned about people getting unnecessarily hurt or killed in what can be a very dangerous and treacherous place,” Bonner said.
“It is actually as a result of seeing that there is the possibility in local border communities, and maybe even beyond, of having citizens that would be willing to volunteer to help the Border Patrol,” he said.
Prior to Bonner’s proposal the administration has been critical of the Minutemen Project, and President Bush has called them “vigilantes.”
However, the deployment of the citizen patrols last April resulted in a sharp decrease in the number of illegals crossing into the United States. This fact has forced the administration to take a closer look.
With polls showing Americans want strong border control, the Bush administration, which until now has permitted twelve million or more illegals to cross over, is apparently changing its tune.
“The problem is whether Bush is just giving lip service to increase his poll numbers,” a Minuteman volunteer in Vermont told American Free Press.
(Issue #45, November 7, 2005)