Participants in the Minuteman Project (search) have been patrolling a stretch of the southeastern Arizona border since earlier this month, but they would like to organize patrols in other high-traffic smuggling areas.

The volunteers, some of whom are armed, began spreading out earlier this month along a 23-mile stretch of desert between the border communities of Naco and Douglas. They may alert authorities when they see someone cross the border, but are not allowed to detain anyone.

Law enforcement officials have said they fear the project will lead to vigilante violence, an accidental confrontation between armed volunteers and authorities, or a dangerous encounter with the violent smugglers who use the area.

Minutemen mission: Visionaries or vigilantes?

A sample of your responses:

Now, let's see. An open door to absolutely anyone on our southern border. An area that's world recognized, and known; and daily proven, to be unprotected, and visibly open to, with open arms to: hundreds of miles for entrance of: illegals (drug running, sex selling, gangs, money laundering, terrorists?) Hmm... These are visionaries... of course!
Douglas W.

These are not patriots, just anarchists. Why only the Mexican border and not the Canadian border or the ports of New Orleans, New York and Miami, as well as every U.S. international airport?
Paul B.
Arlington, TX

I think the minutemen are the Paul Revere of this time. They are true Americans... They saw a problem and resolved to intelligently solve it! American ingenuity. The government should be ashamed of itself because of this failure to protect their fellow citizens. I may volunteer to go down myself and help out.
Anita A.
Sparta, IL

Lets face it, this is just a larger version of the neighborhood watch. It is a good thing in a bigger neighborhood. These good people are not taking the law into their own hands. They are simply good citizens assisting an overworked group of federal officers.
Regards,
Chuck

Three cheers for the patriots of the Minuteman Project! Somebody has to defend the nation's integrity, and since our president won't carry out his oath of office, the citizens will just have to do it for him!
C. Courington

The Minutemen are right on, and I certainly appreciate and applaud their efforts to wake up the U.S. government and citizens to this disaster in progress.
John V.
Dallas, TX

These people are unquestionably visionairies! My hat's off to them! As one of your callers indicated, they're doing what the government should have been doing for a long time. As a European born, I had to wait five years to be admitted into the USA, and had to prove by means of an affidavit that members of my family who were already living here, would assume any and all financial responsibility for me. In those days there was "no free lunch!" nor water for the illegals! And let's call them what they are... illegals! Not this misguided politically correct "undocumented" label!
Keep up the good work, by giving these visionairies the media exposure they rightly deserve!
Stanley R.
Port Washington, NY

The border volunteers are good for the country and point out the big failure in the Bush administration's not making our borders safe.
Mike B.
Gulf Breeze, FL

The Minutemen are both; Visionaries and Vigilantes:
Visionaries, because they see the need to step up and perform the duty of protecting our country and society, that the government, for political reasons only, has refused to do. You may be sure, I will register my dissatisfaction during the next elections.
Vigilantes, because they are trying to perform a duty, which should be performed by sworn officers of the law. And I say; good for them! If our own government will not protect us, someone’s got to step up and take the responsibility!
Alan Wright
Coconut Creek, FL

The Minutemen are not vigilantes, but citizens who are reporting law violators to the authorities. Law enforcement officers across this country would love to have more citizens reporting crimes. I, as a retired lawman would like to see the Minutemen come to Texas and I would try to get some of my retired brother officers to join them in their efforts.
Guy M.
Houston, TX

I think they are vigilantes, however I don't disagree with what they are doing. I do think that it won't be long before some U.S. Marshall wannabe steps over the line and someone gets hurt. The best thing that can come out of this is for the Congress to wake up and realize that we have on our nicely pressed uniform, but our fly is open.
Stephanie
Maysville, KY

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