Hundreds protest Minutemen in Las Cruces
Hundreds Protest N.M. Border Patrol Group
Sunday July 24, 2005 1:31 AM
By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
Associated Press Writer
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Hundreds of demonstrators
marched through the streets Saturday to protest a
controversial civilian border patrol group, calling
the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps racist and
The League of United Latin American Citizens, one of
the oldest Latino civil rights organizations in the
country, organized the march and rally to show that
Minuteman volunteers were not wanted in the area.
``It's a racist organization, there is no question,''
said the league's national treasurer, Jaime Martinez.
``They say they will monitor the border, but now they
are coming into our cities. Something has to be
Minuteman volunteers, who plan to patrol parts of the
border in New Mexico and Texas starting in October,
have repeatedly denied claims of racism. The group
gained international attention earlier this year when
a contingent patrolled a section of the Mexican border
in southern Arizona.
William N. Norris, a coordinator for the group's New
Mexico chapter who attended Saturday's rally, said the
group's goal is not to stop immigration, but to ensure
that immigrants ``fill out the paperwork and sign the
guest book at the gate.''
Mary Jane Garcia, the majority whip of the New Mexico
State Senate, called on the federal government to take
action against the Minuteman volunteers and work on
real reform of immigration laws.
Forcing Hispanic immigrants out of the country is not
the answer, she said.
``What would happen if all the Mexicans were to leave
this country tomorrow? They need us,'' she said.
On the Net:
League of United Latin American Citizens
Minuteman Project/Minuteman Civil Defense Corps