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National Minuteman Organization Closes Down, Northwest Chapters Still Alive

Anna King

This week the volunteer border watch group called the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps dissolved. Leaders of the Arizona–based group say the nation's political climate has become too volatile. The organizers fear liability for what a few bad apples might do. But some Northwest chapters of the Minutemen say they are still alive and on patrol.


Joe Ray of Yakima, Washington says the national Minuteman organization may be disbanded, but he's planning a trip to stand watch at the Canadian border this summer all the same. Ray says his Yakima–area chapter has about 150 members and there are about 300 members total in Washington. They don't plan on shutting down. Ray says the parent organization couldn't handle the liability from some members that wanted to tote long guns on the borders.

Ray: "Right now there is a lot of anger going on over health care, over the lack of this administration to control illegal immigration and it's just putting our people in danger that they don't need to be in."

Ray says he knows nearly everyone in his group and they discourage carrying rifles on their border patrols although some members do carry pistols. As before, the mission is limited to spotting and reporting illegal immigrants to the professional Border Patrol.

I'm Anna King in Richland.

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