A founder of The Minuteman Project told Newsmax TV
on Monday that he's reviving his citizens' border-patrol movement years after it collapsed amid infighting and scandal.
Minuteman Project co-founder and president Jim Gilchrist told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner he hopes to send 3,500 volunteers to patrol the border from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas, and another 3,500 to stage protests outside every Mexican consulate office in the United States.
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The original Minuteman Project was a self-styled "neighborhood watch" for the U.S.-Mexico border, launched in 2005. But it had no legal authority and drew widespread criticism as a vigilante group.
Internal fights over funding and management were followed by a 2009 Arizona murder investigation that led authorities to a pair of Minuteman members.
Gilchrist said his organization has had to live down "some very serious embarrassment."
The 2009 killings of an Arizona man and his nine-year-old daughter were the work of "rogue groups who used the Minuteman movement as a veil to essentially carry out sinister and criminal activities," said Gilchrist.
He said new volunteers will be exercising their right to "freely and peacefully" assemble in protest of current U.S. immigration policy and the recent surge in unauthorized border crossings through Mexico.
Gilchrist said he is urging volunteers to "stay within the rule of law, and there are no exceptions."
"We have a pretty good relationship with law enforcement; they are not our enemy," he said. "They're our allies. We want to support them. We do not want to interfere with them, and we do not want to disappoint them. Nor do I want anybody to disappoint the American public."
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