The citizen group Minuteman Civil Defense Corps aided Border Patrol in the capture and arrest of 21 illegal aliens attempting to cross into the United States.

Founder and leader Chris Simcox called the success a “textbook weekend.”

“In addition to the 21 arrests we were able to rescue one person, giving them much-needed food and water until Border Patrol agents arrived to take over,” he said.

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

Simcox noted it’s rarely reported that hundreds, if not thousands, die every year in the desert trying to make their way onto American soil.

“It is not a problem of too much security on the border that’s causing folks to die; it is the lure of too little security,” he said. “If our borders were secure, people wouldn’t be attempting to cross hundreds of miles of desert without adequate food or water.”

The Minutemen also found a young woman who apparently had died of dehydration and had been left for dead by her companions nearly a month ago.

“It was really sad in two respects,” Simcox said. “First, the government has setup aid stations inside the border, which give false hope to illegal immigrants. They cross over thinking they’ll reach a station and end up dying of starvation or more likely dehydration. Second, and most unfortunate, people who can not keep up are abandoned by their groups or their coyotes [guides]. If someone is slowing them down, they’re left to die.”

The group said 24 new recruits were initiated this weekend. – the combined effort of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and the Minuteman Project – has now established more than 25 Minuteman chapters along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The group says its volunteers are trained to peacefully assist in the detection of illegal border crossings, which are then reported to U.S. Border Patrol officials.

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