The Minuteman Project, a group formed to monitor U.S. borders and assist authorities in the identification and apprehension of illegal aliens, is planning a rally in Washington, D.C., next week to bring attention to what its leader calls a “crisis” along the nation’s boundary with Mexico.

In addition, says group founder Jim Gilchrist, members will focus opposition at the Feb. 8 event on President Bush’s so-called “guest worker” program, which would allow illegal aliens to remain in the country legally for a period of time to work – a plan opponents say is akin to amnesty.
“Too many in Washington, from both political parties, have tried to ignore the crisis in illegal immigration,” said Gilchrist, a decorated and combat-wounded veteran of the Vietnam War who lost a closer-than-expected December special election for a U.S. House seat in California to Republican John Campbell.

“On this day, they will hear the message loud and clear,” he continued. “Law-abiding Americans are sick and tired of the flood of illegal immigrants coming across our borders. It affects our economy, our jobs, our health and education systems, and every hard-working tax-paying American. It is tantamount to modern-day slave trading.”

According to a communiqu? from the group, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., head of the 91-member House Immigration Reform Caucus, is scheduled to give a keynote speech criticizing the president’s guest-worker proposal.

“The president continues to connect guest worker to reform and enforcement,” Tancredo told WorldNetDaily Wednesday, in a comment regarding Bush’s reference in his State of the Union address this week to enhancing border security. “The two are mutually exclusive.”

Gilchrist said the near-term goal of the Minuteman organization “is to stop the illegal alien ‘guest worker amnesty program’ dead in its tracks.” Contending “Washington is out of touch on this issue,” he said his organization wants to “make sure [lawmakers] know the stakes involved in this fight and that they will face the political consequences if they continue to ignore the wishes of the American people.”

Also joining Gilchrist and Tancredo is Barbara Coe, a co-author of California’s Proposition 187, which denies public benefits to illegal aliens, and president of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform; radio personality Terry Anderson of KRLA; John Clark of the American Immigration Control Foundation; Peter Gadiel of the 9/11 Families for a Secure America and various Minuteman leaders.

Gilchrist said all members of the U.S. Senate are also invited to attend and will be given the opportunity to address the rally if they request it.

The event will be held on the lawn area on the west side of the U.S. Capitol building, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern time.

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