New Target for Minuteman Project

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," April 21, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.


GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, R-CA: Yesterday, it was a total screw-up on the word that I used, because, instead of closing, I meant securing borders.


JOHN GIBSON, HOST: That's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) apologizing for a slip of the lip while talking about illegal immigration, the issue on the front-burner thanks to the Minutemen, volunteer civilians patrolling the border with Mexico. The group is calling that exercise a success and now planning a change of tactics. They're going to target companies that hire illegal aliens.

Joining me now is Dale McGlothlin, chief operating officer of the Federation For American Immigration Reform.

Dale, big question, will going after companies that hire illegals accomplish anything?


Of course, it will. I mean, we would never have had these sanctions if we didn't think that they would do something to stop this. Let me tell you two things that the Minuteman Project (search) has done so far.

Number one, it has dispelled a great myth that even if you patrol the border, you can't stop illegal immigration. And these gentlemen, these women down there on the border — a few hundred of them in lawn chairs armed with walkie-talkies — basically shut off a section of the border for a few weeks. So we know it can work now. That myth is off the table.

The next thing it did was prove that American activism, civic activism, the kind that the Minutemen were known for back during the beginning of this country, is still alive and well and working here in the U.S.

GIBSON: Dale, but, you know, all of the companies that hire people, I mean generally speaking, demand that a document be produced. And I thought the problem was always, you can't expect an employer to detect a forged document. So, how is this next phase of Minutemen plan going to work?

MCGLOTHLIN: Well, protests and boycotts are some of the greatest weapons that average individuals have against the powerful and the arrogant and the greedy. And, of course, there are courses out there to teach you how to scan for those proper documents. But we're talking about corporations that do this with impunity. They break our laws consistently by hiring these illegals. They displace American workers. They suppress wages. It's criminal. And we need to stop it.

GIBSON: Yes, but, once again, I mean, this has always been a problem. An employer is — under this kind of plan — required to be able to detect a phony document. And that's tough.

MCGLOTHLIN: Well, we don't see it as being tough. We see that there are certain things. And we teach courses on this all the time. We have a field staff out there around the United States that teaches employers how to find these secure documents.

And so, we don't think it's that difficult. What we do think is that the federal government has put these sanctions into place about 20 years ago now. But they didn't even force these. You have a guard dog guarding the store, but it has no teeth. So, there's no enforcement. The slap on the wrist to Wal-Mart (search) of $11 million is criminal, absolutely criminal.

So, until the federal government steps up and begins to enforce these sanctions, we're going to have this influx of foreign cheap workers. And, as we both know, John, cheap labor is not cheap. Cheap labor costs this country billions of dollars each year.

GIBSON: Dale McGlothlin, chief operating officer of the Federation For American Immigration Reform. Dale, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

MCGLOTHLIN: Thank you, John.

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