Unlike many of the organizations that make it their business to promote hostility against immigrants, the Minutemen Movement has had a challenging few years. Notably, the John Tanton Network managed to edge its controversial agenda further into conventional media streams, while the Minutemen were pushed further into the fringe.
Undoubtedly, the very lowest point came when minutemen member Shawna Forde murdered a little girl and her father in a bizarre plan to steal from immigrants to raise money for her own minuteman spin-off group. The Minutemen Movement is known for its aggressive border vigilantism, and that made it hard to duck criticism when violence against immigrants came to light. Infighting among some of its more eccentric leaders like Chris Simcox and Jim Gilchrist also contributed to the movement’s decline. Many former members defected to a group called the Patriot’s Coalition.
Although the Minutemen Movement as a whole has fractured and lost key leadership, the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps is still hanging on. The group even launched its own Political Action Committee and endorsed a select group of candidates.
And it chose well. All but a handful of its candidates won yesterday. What this means for the Minutemen Movement itself is hard to say, but it’s a clear sign that a new wave of hostility towards immigrants is about to enter American politics. This will have a dire impact on state-level legislation, especially in places like Kansas where punitive immigration legislation similar to Arizona’s SB 1070 could be introduced.
Americans concerned about the effects of legislation that seeks to punish immigrants will now need to keep close tabs on the incoming and incumbent candidates who will likely push such ordinances at the state-level. By organizing at the local level we can protect the inclusiveness of these jeopardized states.