I find it rather amazing that they printed this. The WSJ has usually editorialized in favor of amnesty and a "guest worker" program, catering to their business-oriented readership. Of course, this one wasn't written by the WSJ staff, but even to have them print it is a major surprise given their usual attitude.www.opinionjournal.com/cc/?id=110006707
Excerpts (see article at URL above for full text):
Minutemen Are People, Too
Arizona rednecks win a round against the ACLU.
BY LEO W. BANKS
Thursday, May 19, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
In the view of most of the reporters who parachuted into Arizona for this story and, disturbingly, local ones as well, you'd get the distinct impression that the Minutemen are the problem along the border. That's right. America needn't worry about the thousands who bust into the country every night. No, the real danger are those yahoos who think calling the cops when they see somebody breaking the law is a good idea.
Never mind that it worked, more or less. In April, the number of illegals coming across along the Naco corridor, where the Minutemen were stationed, fell, even if the balloon effect pushed them to other places along Arizona's 350-mile-long border with Mexico. But that's not the story most editors and producers wanted. They wanted to stand up the angle that went something like--no, exactly like--this: Gun-toting vigilantes run amok in the desert, hunting harmless illegals who are only looking for work.
These border residents are routinely snickered at and called racist vigilantes. But most are decent folks caught up in the daily invasion of illegals who tramp across their land. Ranchers in hard-hit areas spend the first hours of every day repairing damage done the night before. They find fences knocked down and water spigots left on, draining thousands of precious gallons. And then there's the trash: pill bottles, syringes, used needles, and pile after pile of human feces.
Sometimes illegals hammer on residents' windows in the middle of the night, demanding to use the phone. Some even walk right into the ranch house and refuse to leave until the rancher pulls a gun and forces the issue. One rancher told me about illegals who rustled one of her newborn calves. The intruders beat the 12-hour-old animal to death with a fence post, then barbecued it on the spot.
But you haven't heard much about these problems nationally, because the media soft-pedal them. Why? It's politically incorrect. We've built a new third rail in American life. Leave the harmless illegals alone and go after their victims instead.
Bud knows what he's dealing with. He has had a truck stolen, found bales of drugs on his land, and routinely has illegals approach him demanding beer. It used to be that one or two would ask a local resident for water and a sandwich, and, once fed, be on their way with a polite "Gracias, Señorita." The new breed now comes in groups of 50. They demand to be driven to their pickup spot, and if you refuse they flip you off. Sometimes they poison barking ranch dogs or cut their throats to quiet them. How long do you suppose such outrages would go on in Fairfield, Conn.? Or Greenwich? It'd be a day and a half before some kumbaya-liberal flipped sides and founded the Merritt Parkway Minutemen. Or the BlackBerry Brigade.
The best part of this story is that while the elite media's agenda on the Minutemen played well on the coasts, Arizonans weren't buying it. A poll found that 57% of the state's residents supported the border-watch project, which sent the editorial page of Tucson's Arizona Daily Star into a stammering fit, calling the number alarming. Of course, this is a paper so politically correct it can't even bring itself to call illegals illegals. Its writers refer to them as migrants or, my favorite, border crossers. But as the Minutemen plan to expand operations to five more states--and a new citizen group, the Yuma Patriots, begins patrolling--that 57% heartens me. It looks to me like the rednecks won.
Mr. Banks is a writer in Tucson.