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More than 150 volunteers will take part in the latest mission of the citizen border watch group Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

With 40 new recruits, the group is conducting training this weekend for the mission in the Avery Valley in the South Tucson region of the Arizona-Mexico border.

Minuteman chapters continue to grow in response to the federal government’s neglect on border security, says Chris Simcox, the group’s founder.

MinutemanHQ.com – the combined effort of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and the Minuteman Project – has established at least 25 chapters along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The Border Patrol are being overrun by illegal immigrants because the federal government has failed to staff and equip them adequately,” Simcox said. “But, it’s a great feeling to see so many citizens willing to stand on the frontline to help secure our borders.”

Simcox said the number of volunteers is growing more than he had imagined.

The Minuteman project claims it has prevented more than 60,000 cases of illegal immigration – at least 20 percent of whom had criminal records.

“This is not the adversarial or racist operation the left media would like people to think it is,” Simcox said. “Most of our missions are more search and rescue, as thousands of illegal immigrants get lost in the desert with no food or water.”

Simcox says more than 160 lives have been saved in three years.

“Part of our training program ensures that Minutemen are prepared to assist with food and water while we wait for Border Patrol to respond,” he said.

Simcox said the training program emphasizes “safety, non-confrontation, and compliance creating a very orderly system in which it assists the Border Patrol in detecting and deterring illegal immigration.”

The group also has helped clean up hundreds of ranches and private property where illegal immigrants “have ravaged the land” after crossing onto American soil.

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