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The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has rejected the idea of being absorbed into a government-run program of civilian-volunteer border watchers.

Last week, Homeland Security border security chief Robert Bonner claimed the Department of Homeland Security was exploring ways in which the department might incorporate civilians into its Border Patrol operation. A day later a spokesman for DHS denied that any plans were being drawn up for an official civilian program through the department.

Either way, say Minuteman officials, they will keep their organization independent of any government supervision.

“Since before the 9-11 attacks, the federal government has failed to run effective and efficient border security,” said Minuteman co-founder Chris Simcox. “Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants – including criminals and would-be terrorists – flood into our country every month completely undeterred by Border Patrol. What makes Homeland Security think they can run a civilian program any better than the one run by paid staff? This is bureaucracy at its finest!”

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has assisted in the detection and arrest of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants – as many as 20 percent of which have criminal records, say leaders. Over the persistent roadblocks laid by federal border security officials, the Minutemen continue to expand their operations along the southern U.S. border with Mexico.

“There is absolutely no reason to think that the federal government can come down here and do a better job than what we’ve already done and continue to do,” said Simcox. “If they’re so concerned about securing our borders, I’d like to think they would have done it by now. But they haven’t, so we are.”

MinutemanHQ.com – the combined effort of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and the Minuteman Project – has now established at least 25 Minuteman chapters along the U.S.-Mexico border. Minuteman volunteers are trained to peacefully assist in the detection of illegal immigration, which is then reported to U.S. Border Patrol officials.

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