Minuteman project to get involved in border crisis - CBS 5 - KPHO

Minuteman project to get involved in border crisis

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

One man who wants to keep people from crossing the border illegally is bringing back an idea we have seen before.

The Minuteman Project is looking for thousands of volunteers to secure the United States southern border.

Jim Gilcrest, co-founder of the Minuteman Project, has dubbed the campaign "Operation Normandy." He says it wouldn't be an invasion of another country, instead he says it's designed to protect this country.

Critics argue, however, that putting untrained, unarmed volunteers along the border could create more problems than it solves.

"Our federal government especially has failed us," Gilcrest said via SKYPE from his home in California.

He was instrumental in the campaign that brought civilian volunteers to Arizona's borders from 2005 through 2010.

The project made a lot of people nervous and a lot of other people proud. This week, Gilcrest has announced plans to bring it back.

"We're trying to recruit thousands of people to cover the porous border areas from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas," Gilcrest said.

Some who participated in the last border campaign were labeled as vigilantes. Gilcrest says he wants to stop the spread of people coming across the border, but he says he wants to do it legally.

"The rule of law means you do not put a hand on anyone. You do not talk to anyone. You do not confront anyone. You report to Border Patrol," Gilcrest said.

Gilcrest is hoping for 3,500 people for this campaign that he's planning for May 1 through May 30. Militia members are invited so long as they follow the law.

"They're not these man eating ogres they're made out to be," Gilcrest said.

Gilcrest says no one who participates will operate under the umbrella of the Minuteman Project.
He says they'll just be individual citizens exercising their constitutional rights.

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