The Minutemen Are Back

Border patrol group pledges October operations will be no joke.

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps is gearing up once again to man the border, both in Washington state and elsewhere nationwide. A month-long patrol in a number of states will begin on Sunday, with the aim of catching illegal immigrants in the act-or to be precise, according to Minuteman leaders, spotting such border crossings and promptly calling authorities. Last October, the Minuteman did its first patrol in Washington state and it turned out, frankly, to be a joke. Hardly anyone showed up. But things are different this year, pledges Claude LeBas, a Ferndale resident who heads Minuteman chapters in a five-state region including Washington. He says Minuteman membership in this state has grown to a current 200 members, a group that includes Democrats as well as Republicans, a contingent of women, a horse brigade and five pilots who patrol the border from their private planes. Foot-bound Minutemen will stand guard at 14 posts along a 26-mile stretch from Blaine to Sumas. He anticipates having 36 people along the line at any one time.

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