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Minutemen, Kansas Hispanic group end touted alliance

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  • Steven L. Robinson
    Minutemen, Kansas Hispanic group end touted alliance The Associated Press May 5, 2007 WICHITA, Kan. -- An unusual alliance on illegal immigration forged
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2007
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      Minutemen, Kansas Hispanic group end touted alliance

      The Associated Press
      May 5, 2007

      WICHITA, Kan. -- An unusual alliance on illegal immigration forged between
      the Kansas Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and the People's Alliance for
      Latino Advancement in Kansas has broken apart after only two months.


      It was an uneasy partnership from the start. In March, the two groups held a
      joint public forum in Wichita to outline their common mission on stopping
      illegal immigration. The dissolution of their pact was a much quieter
      affair.

      "We tried," said PALA co-chairman Dennis Romero. "Some people condemned us,
      other people applauded us."

      Romero said the breakup was sparked by the Minutemen picketing employers
      whom they suspected were employing illegal immigrants.

      "They started racist stuff," he said. "We told them we can't have any part
      of this."

      Ed Hayes, the Kansas director of the Minutemen, confirmed the two groups
      have split. But he said Romero and his co-chairman Bob Hernandez knew from
      the initial meeting that the Minutemen planned the pickets.

      "I am just disappointed that seems to be a problem, because we are going to
      continue doing it," Hayes said.

      The Minutemen have long contended that racism has nothing to do with their
      anti-illegal immigration activities.

      To bolster that argument, Hayes pointed to the group's continued alliance
      with another Hispanic group, You Don't Speak For Me, which opposes illegal
      immigration. In April, the Kansas Minutemen hosted retired U.S. Army Col.
      Albert F. Rodriguez of Douglas, Ariz.

      Rodriguez, chairman of You Don't Speak For Me, was in Kansas City to start
      another chapter.

      Hayes said he was disappointed that PALA had chosen to break off the
      relationship.

      "We will just go ahead without them," Hayes said.

      Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

      http://kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=6459489

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