Jeffrey Gautreaux, Yuma Sun (Az.), Apr. 7
About 35 people attended the first meeting for a group that Yuma resident Flash Sharrar hopes to build into a border watch program. The first meeting, held at Team RAMCO, 4701 E. Gila Ridge Road, was to assess what resources volunteers could offer the fledgling project.
“We’re about nonviolence,” Sharrar said. “We need to be getting resources and equipment together.”
Sharrar’s son, Matthew, was allegedly robbed at gunpoint in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area on March 27, and, in response, Sharrar has spearheaded the effort to create a citizen’s group that will decrease illegal entry into the United States.
The program is similar to the Minuteman Project that is ongoing in southeastern Arizona.
“This is not about being a vigilante or color or creed,” Sharrar said. “It is about this country being overrun by people who pointed a gun at (Matthew’s) head. It is our civic duty as citizens of Yuma to stop this crisis.”
Sharrar said the aim was to deter the entrance of illegal aliens — not to apprehend them. He said guns should not be used by border watchers.
Darrel Hall of Yuma said he would have no problem with being unarmed. He said a program like the one Sharrar is proposing is necessary. “We need to protect our borders, number one,” Hall said. “Our borders are unsafe. And the people who are coming across are being taken advantage of.”