Minutemen in the Valley: Fact Or Fiction?

Michael A. Salorio, Imperial Valley Press (El Centro, Cal), July 10

CALEXICO—City leaders here have pulled away the welcome mat from anti-illegal immigration groups planning to patrol the border in San Diego County this September while it still remains to be seen whether these groups will be coming to the Imperial Valley.

During the Calexico City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Calexico City Mayor Alex Perrone and Imperial County District 1 Supervisor Victor Carrillo made it clear these civilian border patrolling groups are unwelcome in Calexico.

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Perrone revealed the Calexico Police Department has begun preparations to deal with the Border Watch volunteers if they decide to take the law into their own hands.

“We’re going to enforce the law and we’re going to enforce it here because we don’t want anybody coming into our city and trying to apply their laws. We don’t want any vigilantes here. . . Calexico will take care of Calexico, so I say the Minutemen will last here a minute. . . We do have a 98.5 percent Hispanic population here. We know how to welcome them,” said Perrone.

However, it remains to be seen whether civilian border patrols will be coming to the Valley because Border Watch organizers have still not finalized plans for the event.

Andy Ramirez, chairman of the Friends of the Border Patrol, explained plans for the Border Watch operation only include San Diego County. Ramirez noted plans have not yet been finalized and Imperial County might still be included in the Border Watch operation for September or it might receive its own Border Watch later this winter.

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Ramirez explained Friends of the Border Patrol and similar groups have been scapegoated as racists by knee-jerk reactionaries who refuse to recognize the reality of the nation’s unsecured borders. Ramirez said he has been victimized by Hispanics who’ve called him a “coconut” for being brown on the outside and white on the inside. He’s also been called a “Tio Taco,” meaning he’s an Uncle Tom-like sellout.

“I’ve been a victim more than once. It’s coming from people who charge racism but they are using racist themes themselves. It’s just scapegoating like they’ve been doing all year. . . They just use that same scapegoating, crybaby nonsense because they refuse to address the issues,” said Ramirez.

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Those wanting more information on Friends of the Border Patrol and the Border Watch operation can visit www.friendsoftheborderpatrol.com or call (909)613-9211.

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