Elizabeth White, AP, August 21, 2006
San Antonio — Hundreds of volunteers plan to keep watch over the Texas-Mexico border near Laredo beginning Sept. 11, aiding the U.S. Border Patrol’s effort to stop illegal immigration.
The eight-week “Operation Sovereignty” — to begin on the fifth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks and end on Election Day, Nov. 7 — is meant to “bring national awareness to the illegal alien invasion crisis,” said Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist.
Texas Minutemen president Shannon McGauley said he expects anywhere from 800 to 2,000 attendees. The American Border Patrol of Arizona, another volunteer group, also will participate, Gilchrist said.
Reynaldo Garza, acting chief patrol agent for the Laredo border sector, said Minuteman patrols have aided in immigrant arrests in the past. He added that the most important communication with the Border Patrol is that “we know where they are, and they know where we are.”
“We depend on them to pass information on to us, and that’s what the Minutemen will be doing,” Garza said.