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Why doesn't U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) fully support the Minuteman Project?

The Minuteman Project is starting a new campaign entitled "Operation Spotlight". (See "'Minutemen' gear up for mainstream movement", also discussed here). Rather than just monitoring the borders, they now intend to branch out to going after those companies that employ illegal aliens.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson used to support the MMP, but now, because of Operation Spotlight, he appears to have changed his mind. See "Immigration vigilante group now unfavored" for the details:
"I would really prefer that people work with the existing structure that we already have," Wilson said this week. "I actually thought they were doing a commendable service in backing up the border patrol."

While describing the border patrol effort as "very professional and very constructive," he said the latest effort seemed to intrude on the jurisdiction of federal, state and local law enforcement.
There are certainly good reasons to raise questions about this latest plan. For instance, without subpoena powers and without prior enforcement action to point to, how are they going to determine whether a business is employing illegal aliens? They can't just say that because a business' workers don't speak English or because they're Hispanic that they're illegal aliens. And, you can bet that some pro-illegal immigration groups might try to entrap the MMP by making the MMP make false charges against legal workers. So, perhaps Wilson should clarify his remarks. Is he opposing this campaign because of those reasons, or because of... other reasons?

As for the following group, I think we can understand why they're opposed:
While agreeing that the country's immigration law needs reform, the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce strongly disagreed with the group's approach.

"The Minuteman Project has been noted for some of its radical tactics and inflammatory language," spokeswoman Charlie Clark said.

Immigration, Clark said, "is a complicated issue and one without a quick solution." While the chamber encourages all businesses to abide by U.S. immigration laws, she said many local businesses are heavily dependent on the Hispanic labor force, many of whom do not have legal status to be in the United States.

She said members of the Latino community aren't just workers, but an integral part of the community as consumers, students, business owners who will continue to come to the area as long as it has a strong community and desirable quality of life.

"There is no doubt that the U.S. immigration system is in need of change," Clark said. "Until that time, the Minuteman Project's divisive tactics don't solve the issue, and it serves to further divide communities."
Hey, kids! Can you outdo that? Here's my attempt:
"While our members fully oppose selling rotten fruits and vegetables, some studies show that it's entirely healthy and economical too!"

Immigration2005b · Tue, 06/14/2005 - 04:16 · Importance: 1

Wed, 06/15/2005 - 01:04
eh

"I think we all know the answer to that."

Not me.

But if they're Hispanic and/or speak poor or no English, there is reason -- i.e. 'probable cause' -- to be suspicious; this is only common sense. And why anyone should object so strongly to providing proof of legal residence, or scream when asked to verify eligibility for employment, which is a legal requirement before beginning work, is never clearly explained. Doing or asking this is regrettable, but that doesn't mean it isn't necessary, and can't or shouldn't be done.

Tue, 06/14/2005 - 10:22
Ralph
ralphfnelson.blogspot.com

"without subpoena powers and without prior enforcement action to point to, how are they going to determine whether a business is employing illegal aliens?"

I think we all know the answer to that.

Tue, 06/14/2005 - 05:27
jay

I'm so sick of these anti-immigration groups (they seem to oppose legal immigration by supporting illegal immigration) trying to portray everyone as racist who support stricter laws and enforcement against those who enter the USA illegaly.

I could care less if someone is Mexican, Irish, or whatever. If they are here legally that is fine, if they are here illegally then they need to be deported back to where they came from.