Al Garza, president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, confirmed on Sept. 7 that his group is beginning operations in Texas sooner than expected, bringing about 50 volunteers to Brownsville this month for “Secure Our Borders,” a campaign targeting undocumented immigrants along the border. The campaign was slated to begin Oct. 1, but was moved up a month–it began on Sept. 2–after hundreds of federal Border Patrol agents were redeployed away from the border to Gulf Coast areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. Garza said the border is now even more short-handed and his volunteers are “picking up the slack.”
Border Patrol officials in Washington confirmed on Sept. 7 that 200 border agents were deployed from across the US to the disaster zone to aid in relief efforts. Spokesperson Barry Morrissey said about 400 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel were sent to the area, including Border Patrol agents. Morrissey said the agents could shift to disaster relief without having a “negative impact on our traditional mission.” (Brownsville Herald, Sept. 8)
The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps is now recruiting in Long Island, New York, for patrols along the northern border with Canada, set to begin Oct. 1. Minuteman leader Chris Simcox was to be the keynote speaker at a meeting set for Sept. 10 in Babylon, Long Island, to recruit and train new volunteers for the effort. (New York Sun, Sept. 7)
From Immigration News Briefs, Sept. 10
See our last post on the border crisis.