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Remember the Minutemen

When people hear House Republicans ranting ad nauseam about “border security” – as will everyone for the next several weeks as a comprehensive immigration-reform measure works its way through Congress – they should remember the Minutemen.

You remember the Minutemen, right? Those noble citizen border watchers, out there braving the desert heat to try to stop brown people from crossing the desert illegally, who were the media darlings of 2005 but who seemed to drop off the radar afterward. The Minutemen changed the national conversation about immigration away from a debate about the state of immigration laws and trade policies and into a laser focus on those lawbreakers coming over our borders in large numbers.

They made “border security” the top priority for every politician in the country (including, it should be noted, President Obama, who has deported more immigrants found to be here illegally than any president in history). When you hear them debate immigration, inevitably you will hear some version of the following: “We need to secure the border first before we can pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

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