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New Mexican (Newspaper) - October 2, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico A4 THE NEW MEXICAN Sunday October 2 2005 Patrols Minuteman sightings led to three arrests in threeweek period Continued from Page Al for jobs crowd hospitals and schools and threaten English as the nations dominant language The civilian patrols of recent months have failed to stem the tide of illegal crossings but they have ratcheted up pressure on Washington to better police borders and fueled tension in border towns about potential violence And as the patrols continue they are targeting a wider circle of volunteers There are urban dwellers young women even some Hispanics Their gripes about illegal immigration are often the same as those of the guntoting veterans though their back grounds are different It shows that the problem reaches all of America not just a specific said Gayle Nyberg 57 a Murietta woman who slept in the back of a 1976 Chevrolet Suburban painted in camouflage while on patrol More than 200 people signed up with the California Minute men who spent three weeks at the border this summer Civilian patrols are opposed by 56 percent of Californians but supported by a majority of Republicans and people at least 65 years old according to a recent Field Poll Support was weak in Los Angeles and San Francisco and among Hispanics and people under 40 The tele phone survey of 426 registered voters Aug 1929 had a margin of error of plus or minus percentage points Wood who battled two hours of rushhour traffic to get here has taught immigrants English for two years Most of his stu dents have been Asian Returning home to Southern California in 2002 after spend ing 11 years teaching in Japan he ON THE BORDER The New Mexicans Bar bara Ferry will be report ing this week from South ern New Mexico where the state chapter of t4ie Minuteman Civil Defense Corps is assembling for a monthlong border watch found his opposition to illegal immigration hardening He concluded that Mexican immi grants have failed to assimilate in the United States unlike the Vietnamese star students at his high school in Hunting ton Beach or the students he teaches English Suddenly they make Ameri can friends they learn the lan guage they buy a car they start to acclimatize themselves to the American way of life just as I did in he said Heather Evans a 25yearold Los Angeles microbiologist was initially uneasy about joining the patrols that shed seen on a television news report But when she drove three hours to the border one July weekend her fears quickly evaporated I told my family it was like an armed picnic on the said Evans who is considering whether to buy a gun for future visits She traces her opposition to illegal immigration to the time a few years back when she noticed men who whistled and hooted at her often looked Mexican to her Rogelio Cabrera said he felt harassed in a different way A 30yearold who loads port con tainers in Long Beach he said illegal immigration began trou bling him when day laborers who he said appeared Mexi can began gathering outside a neighborhood Home Depot store They see Im Latino coming out with bags of cement and they huddle around me saying What can I do for you said Cabrera who joined the patrols despite the fears of his Mexican born wife Two dozen or so recruits gathered one August evening in Campo 40 miles east of San Diego where many had been camped for nearly three weeks Small groups were assigned along a mountainous 16mile stretch of the border blanketed with mesquite cedar and man zanita trees Wood was dispatched to base camp a metalroofed canopy with an electrical gen erator that powered a 28foot radio communications tower Volunteers sat on the canopys roof and scanned the landscape with nightvision binoculars Britt Craig had spent three weeks at base camp living on canned food out of the back of a yellow van Craig a former Marine paratrooper wore a patch over his left eye from 4711121 DIESEL Ford l by lliop InuiKin I li ciiMiirii ikNtiiiiai MJ IT Immc md 1 Dtt h ILIHLSLsirs on I acres The iiiLivtlihli1 irulnur imi outdoor uhur nut me lor En nrr hiili Lcilinis 6 hrvpKicvs mil in 5059897741 email@example.com)m San Frmrisco Streil vvww ivi 11 Un Mix trSSi what he said was a shrapnel wound in Vietnam Im kind of a he said Craig 56 has never been troubled by illegal immigration but left his home in Florida when he learned about the citizen patrols which he saw as a question of people exercising their right to bear arms I grew up with guns I believe in guns I believe in an armed he These folks are answering to a national defense Nothing prevented people from carrying licensed weapons in most of the areas where the Minutemen patrolled authori ties said Still the San Diego County Sheriffs Department extended the nighttime hours of its tiny Campo substation and paid overtime to reinforce ments A small group of protesters who camped in tents closely followed and frequently taunted the patrpllers When we have two very diverse groups very polarized and highly emotional running around many of them carry ing guns obviously were going to have to be said San Diego Sheriffs Lt Bill Hogue He added I dont know how youd feel about a bunch of people running around your neighborhood with guns but it makes some people No one spotted illegal cross ers this night which is typi cal The Border Patrol credits the California Minutemen for reporting crossings that resulted in three arrests during a three week patrol The agency has made about million arrests over the last year or an aver age of a week There was plenty of verbal jousting between patrollers and protesters but no arrests during the three weeks the Minutemen spent on the border The patrol lers have drawn criticism from Mexican President Vicente Fox who accuses them of practicing vigilante justice Wood didnt see any illegal crossers during his three nights on the border though he likes to think his presence may have scared them away The son of a California Highway Patrol officer and an elementary schoolteacher Wood never followed illegal immigration when growing up He said he rarely mingled with Mexicans in high school While teaching English at a high school in Yokkaichi Japan he said he noticed American staffers were given lighter workloads special treatment he said he didnt deserve or want When he returned home one summer and sought to bring his Brazilian girlfriend he said he had to haggle with an official at a crowded consulate to get her atourist visa Seeing that situation all these visa applicants waiting to get into the United States and then coming back and hear ing how illegal aliens just jump over he said shaking his head at the diningroom table of his rented onebedroom apartment in Oceanside Its like being at an amusement park and waiting for two hours in line then someone just cuts right in front of you That isnt il Hi er o de la S4 i 00 000 I Ul5 ON ACRES dmc u die Ic iliis McDowell is ilouii 1 met offtTS 1 privjiLscllitig lus incctlihc 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