Now, I'm not stupid, and I'm well aware that there are serious issues surrounding immigration, particularly illegal immigration. But for a thousand thousand reasons, these assholes are not the answer. Even if they don't end up provoking or committing violence, they're absolutely doing more harm than good. They're untrained, unqualified volunteers, most of whom were recruited over the internet; they have no familiarity with the terrain; they keep accidentally tripping alarms that the actual Border Patrol have set up, causing the BP to have to waste a lot of time responding to false alerts; they don't know what they're doing and traipse all over the desert ruining trails and markers, making it impossible for the Border Patrol to track the actual illegal immigrants; and I'd bet every dollar in my pocket that their membership is crammed full of right-wing ideologues and racists. They're nothing more than a vigilante mob waiting to happen, and it's only because of the political climate we're in that they don't just get arrested en masse or shipped home. In short, they're not helping.
They interviewed the founder of the Minutemen Project last week -- he's a retired insurance executive who is, shockingly, a well-off conservative Republican. He spoke in the most cynical way possible about how using the patriotic imagery and the 'Minutemen' symbolism has really "paid off" for him, and he noted how he started the group over not only the economic issues of immigration, but because the flood of illegal immigrants is "threatening our culture". I dunno about you, but when I hear someone talk about how immigrants are threatening our culture, I look around for the big, huge iceberg of racism that is surely floating right under the surface somewhere. Worst of all, he talked about how his commitment to non-violence and publicity was inspired by Martin Luther King. Yes, that's right: he said that his ongoing project to use vigilante mobs of white people to harrass, arrest and detain impoverished minorities was inspired by Martin Luther King.
Fuck these guys.