Monday, March 28, 2005

Bush has failed the American citizens who volunteer to help our border patrol

Texas and California leaders of MS-13 have sent gang members to Arizona to "teach a lesson" to the non-violent volunteers of The Minuteman Project. Over 1000 Minuteman volunteers have pledged their time in a month-long vigil to protest the federal government's failure to control illegal immigration. Knowing that if one single person steps over the line their entire operation is discredited, Minuteman has placed stringent guidelines on the volunteers, who have strict orders to only make themselves visible, observe, and report.

On the other hand, MS-13, a brutally violent Hispanic gang spread throughout the nation with over 20,000 members, sees this as an opportunity to target the volunteers. MS-13 is responsible for smuggling in hundreds of illegals, many of them para-militarily trained gang members; and has been tied to numberous killings, robberies, carjackings, extortion, rapes and aggravated assaults. It has earned a reputation among other street gangs for being particularly ruthless and that it will retalitate violently when crossed. (Full news article here)

I believe strongly that President Bush did a huge disservice to the Minuteman volunteers by calling them "vigilantes". That statement alone indicates his ignorance about their mission statement and their origins. This volunteer effort is designed to focus attention on the border issue as all previous efforts have failed. The founders of the Project are the same as the leaders of the Civil Homeland Defense - a hugely successful civilian volunteer operation that has helped observe, report, and deport 5000 illegals over the past five years. They've worked very long and diligently to prove their usefulness and commitment to an issue that the federal government has undermanned and de-prioritized. In five years, they have NEVER had a confrontational or violent incident - and their track record has proven their professionalism.

And yet here is President Bush, completely devaluing 5 years of invaluable unpaid service to this country. More worrisome to me, is that his disregard for the volunteers and his label of "vigilantes" IMPLIES that they will EARN anything that comes to them.

Shame on you, President Bush. It was your duty to learn more about this Project before labeling it. You have a staff of hundreds who only needed to press a few keys to Google the Project and make a few phone calls. Your laxity in this area
raises huge doubts in my mind. Did you take Vicente Fox's version of the Project, or did you just refuse to learn more? A true leader would have done neither. Either way, you've hung these private citizens and volunteers out to dry - and they deserve much better from you! They are doing a job with conviction and professionalism - and accomplishing for our country and national security what you refuse to do.

Should the MS-13 gang follow through on their threats and attack the volunteers, millions of American citizens as ignorant as you will shake their heads and say, "Well, they had it comin'!" And that, Mr. President, is a betrayal of the ideals our country is founded on. This one single issue, your complete lack of commitment to secure our borders, may be the dishonorable stain on an otherwise admirable Presidential record.