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Minutemen, spinoff group returning to border

PHOENIX – The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and a spinoff group of disaffected Minuteman members plan separate monthlong deployments along the border, beginning Friday and Saturday, respectively.

The Minuteman group said it will have members on patrol along the Mexican border in Arizona, California and Texas, and also plans to post members along the Canadian border in Washington state.

In Arizona, the group will conduct a border watch at the King Anvil Ranch near Three Points, about 40 miles southwest of Tucson in the Altar Valley. Last week, it announced that its operations would begin Oct. 6. There was no immediate explanation for the change in plans.

Meanwhile, the Patriots’ Border Alliance, created after disagreements this spring led to the expulsion of several original Minuteman Civil Defense Corps members and officers, is to stage its inaugural 30-day border watch operation starting Saturday in the Palominas area, south of Sierra Vista and west of Naco.

It held a three-day operation in August, also near the border south of Palominas.

That location is where the initial Minuteman Project border watches were staged.

The PBA’s “Operation: Allied Minutemen,” announced on its Web site, said, “We present a forum in which all Minutemen are welcome to operate as one voice, within one movement, with one goal.”

Both groups will post volunteers to watch for and report suspected illegal immigrants or other illegal activity to the Border Patrol.

Minuteman founder and president Chris Simcox said in a statement that border agents are receiving less support and facing increased risk, especially since the National Guard has begun pulling its soldiers from the border after a yearlong support mission.

“The Border Patrol receives an endless supply of empty political rhetoric – and little else – from Washington lawmakers who refuse to set the priorities or provide the necessary resources for securing our nation’s porous borders,” Simcox said.

The anti-illegal immigration group holds semiannual border watches known as “Secure America” in the fall and late spring.

Border Patrol spokesman Jesus “Chuy” Rodriguez said of Simcox’s group, “They’re operating on private property for the most part. That doesn’t impede us from doing our job.

“They’re doing what they’re doing and we’re doing what we’ve got to do,” he said.

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