Minuteman Project Ends in Arizona

Published: Apr. 30, 2005 at 8:19 PM MST|Updated: May. 12, 2005 at 2:24 PM MST
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Mark Stine KOLD News 13 Reporter
Posted: 4-30-05

The minutemen say they stopped 60,000 illegal immigrants from crossing the border. The month started with protests and ended today, peacefully.

"It's been phenomenal, life changing experience really." Minuteman Mitch Geiger spent 16 days in April patrolling the Arizona/ Mexico border.

"The thing I'm proudest of is the fact there was really no confrontation, no incidents," Geiger said.

With no incidents, the Minutemen claim they stopped thousands of border crossers.

"A crowd of mostly senior citizens sitting in lawn chairs armed with binoculars and cell phones, the things they could accomplish," Geiger said. "I'm proud to have been a part of it."

With a final rally, the Arizona portion of the minuteman project comes to a close. The minutemen gathered in Cochise County for the final send off.

"This could not have been done without you, we did this, we the people," Chris Simcox said.

Minuteman organizer Chris Simcox had a statement for the U.S. Government. "We the people are tired of waiting for you to lead. We are going to lead our nation in an effort to secure our borders."

Simcox says the only honorable thing for the government to do at this point, relieve the Minutemen of their duties. "By sending out Humvees filled with National Guard and military troops to protect our borders, no compromise."

Along with the Minutemen, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, believes the month long patrol was a success. "They stuck to the game plan and they didn't step out of bounds of that."

But it's not just the authorities praising the Minutemen, Cochise County rancher Joe Scelso hates to see them go. "It's been quietest and most peaceful, we've had for the last eight years."

According to the Minutemen, this is just the beginning. They claim to have 20,000 new volunteers ready to stand up and protect the border, North and South. "Can't wait to meet them all , can't wait to shake their hands and say welcome to the family," Mitch Geiger said.

The Minuteman Project now heads to California. They hope to have the border secure by June 1st.