Posted on July 29, 2005

Culberson Plan Would Authorize Border Militias

Samantha Levine, Houston Chronicle, July 28

WASHINGTON — Adding an unusual proposal to the searing debate over illegal immigration, U.S. Rep. John Culberson of Houston introduced a bill late Thursday to let Texas and other border states establish armed militias to catch people trying to illegally cross from Mexico and Canada.

The bill, which he called a “thunderclap,” is more than a solitary, symbolic gesture by the Republican lawmaker: It has 46 Republican co-sponsors.

It comes as the White House, Congress and local officials are becoming increasingly immersed in efforts to find the best way to secure the borders and perhaps also establish a “guest worker” program to let immigrants stay in the United States as temporary legal residents.

Gov. Rick Perry indicated he is open to Culberson’s idea.

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It would essentially create an authorized version of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, the Arizona-based group that sent hundreds of volunteers to patrol the state’s border with Mexico and has plans to expand to Texas and California.

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