Immigration Minute Men Success

Minute Men Success

My Mistake On Their Potential

By Daniel Muniz

Conservatives are still furious at George W. Bush and at a number of Republican lawmakers for their tacit support of illegal aliens although in all fairness this was not a problem that just appeared overnight. However, after years of inaction, many Republicans finally got fed up at the farce that represented the dismal efforts of the federal government’s half-hearted plan to stop the enormous flow of the illegal immigration into our country.

The issue of illegal aliens has been brought up before but nobody really took it seriously.

The press ignored it even though a few Border Patrol agents have been brutally murdered by smugglers and drug traffickers. Big Business Republicans quietly supported the influx of more aliens since they were a source of cheap labor for some low wage industries. In addition, many large corporations also saw them as potential sources of new income as in credit cards, mortgages, car loans, etc. And Liberal Democrats welcomed the illegal aliens especially if they could become new members to their party and ideology (after all, many do come from socialist Latin American countries that revel with anti-American sentiment).

Then the Minute Man arrived on the scene.

Seemingly comprised of disenfranchised Republicans who were tired of the empty promises of the Bush and of previous administrations to enforce border security, they were going to take matters into their own hands. The Minute Men organized themselves into groups to personally monitor the border and then inform the Border Patrol of illegal aliens entering this country.

The media jumped all over it and nothing could make them happier. In the past, the press never cared about the border situation, even when it was the scene of horrific crimes, but now they could focus their cameras and national attention on raucous white bigots who were going to terrorize hapless Mexican families illegally coming to America.

Democrats and Liberal activists groups were also salivating at the opportunity to pounce on the Minute Men by depicting them as racists. Initially, I have to admit that I personally felt that they were going to get shredded by the press and portrayed as ignorant rednecks. In fact, I was a bit embarrassed at the entire movement because I figured that the media would delight in attempting to paint the Minute Men as another faction of the Republican Party that was dedicated to discrimination and ignorance.

Even Big Business Republicans wanted the press to humiliate them. But that never happened.

Instead, the Minute Men were actually comprised of concerned ordinary citizens instead of wild-eyed racists that the press imagined. In a calculated and methodical fashion, they meticulously documented the massive number of illegal crossings. Then under the glare of restless cameras, they behaved in a dignified and responsible manner.

And what the cameras did see was the blatant truth of thousands of illegal aliens entering into our country. They also saw that we as a government were totally inept and understaffed to deal with such a tidal wave of crossings. What was once an ignored issue now got the national spotlight with every network airing special reports on the subject. Even the head of the Border Patrol admitted that he surprised at the enormous coverage given to the immigration problem.

Because of the limelight, politicians now had to stake out positions which then reflected an enormous hypocrisy with both parties. Instead of being kept under the rug, illegal immigration was now on the forefront of politics and open for debate on Capitol Hill. The debate itself then brought millions of illegal aliens and their supporters on the streets of major cities. The massive demonstrations brought more attention to the issue, especially since many of the illegal immigrants were brazenly trashing the very same country that they wanted to become citizens of.

As a result, Republicans could no longer keep this issue hidden. Big Business that had once openly flouted the law was now being exposed. The days of the status quo were over and that is what has put the president at odds with his base. Bush would have been happy if things were to continue to go on as they had gone on before.

But overall, I have to admit that I was wrong about the Minute Men. They were not shredded by the press and in fact, they behaved in a very much responsible manner. And most importantly, they were able to force Republicans to bring the issue up for debate and provide a platform for serious discussion.

Liberal politicians in safe districts had nothing to worry about even with their hypocrisy on public display.

However, safe Republican districts now have to deal with conservative insurgents who are going to hold their feet to fire as we saw with incumbent Chris Cannon and challenger John Jacob in Utah. Although Cannon won the primary with a slim margin, Jacob was poorly funded, experienced foot in the mouth disease, and didn’t have the big connections like the incumbent had, it did demonstrate that Big Business Republicans are now vulnerable.

Complacent Republicans got away with little damage this election cycle but the same cannot be said for the next one and the ones thereafter. The grassroots of the GOP will continue to demand that their politicians put or shut up because illegal immigration is a serious problem. And in the years to come, insurgent conservatives will become better funded and better prepared to challenge the old guard.

In summary, the Minute Men did far better than I ever imagined. They gave fuel to a dead issue and provided momentum to challengers who wanted to solve a real problem. Not a whole lot has been accomplished as of right now but the groundwork has been laid for big changes to happen in the next few years.