Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Local immigrant rights activists have launched a website chronicling what they say is the increasingly hostile and abusive treatment of day laborers by the Minutemen.
Claudia Smith of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation says the goal of her group’s website – dubbed “Minutemen Unvarnished” -- is to show video footage of how members behave when the media isn’t watching.
Smith says the Minutemen are harassing people who try to hire day laborers even when the workers can offer proof of legal residence.
Claudia Smith: So this is not just about immigration. It’s not about day laborers. It’s about a profound unease with changing demographics.
Meanwhile, Jeff Schwilk, founder of the San Diego Minutemen, says Smith and her website are part of a propaganda machine trying to paint his group as racist and violent. He says the Minutemen don’t harass anyone unprovoked. He describes his group as peaceful observers.