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.