So whatever happened to the heavily armed paranoids who thought (hoped?) that the Y2K bug was going to bring about the total collapse of American society? Well, as the Arizona Star reports, some of them now travel hundreds of miles to go immigrant huntin':
Border militias claim success
...In the brush, half a dozen heavily armed men wait quietly in the gathering darkness as the voices approach.
Suddenly, the voices and the footsteps stop. After a long moment of silence, a man whispers in Spanish, "Let's go, someone's coming."
There is more movement in the brush as some of the armed men are suddenly visible, hurrying toward the sounds, searching for the source of the voices, but they've disappeared into a maze of piled dirt and brush.
In the darkness, the nearest visible landmark is the water tower at the Border Patrol's Douglas Station, but these aren't Border Patrol agents. They're members of Texas-based Ranch Rescue and a contingent of Missouri Militia patrolling private property they say is being invaded by criminal trespassers - some of the hundreds of illegal entrants who cross through the Douglas area each night.
Although the patrol came up empty-handed Friday night, Ranch Rescue founder Jack Foote considers it a success. Two groups of intruders were forced off the property as the patrol moved through and at least two people were picked up by Border Patrol agents responding to a report from a Ranch Rescue observer in a tower back at the ranch house.
"Two down, 1.5 million to go," Foote said. Best of all, he said, his volunteers got a taste of what's in store for the next two weeks as "Operation Thunderbird" gets under way....
I wasn't making that Y2K part up, by the way:
Tom Kinderknecht, 50, a retired firefighter and one of five Missouri Militia members who drove in together Thursday night, said he grew up in a farming community and learned as a boy what it meant to "be ready and to be self-reliant."
He said he's not given to conspiracy theories, but the Y2K scare reawakened those early lessons and led him to join the Missouri Militia, whose members see themselves as a service and support group for law enforcement and the community, as well as a reserve of manpower for the military when needed.
But hey, these guys are just being good citizens, right? Well...
Jennifer Allen, director of the Border Action Network, said the failure of federal, state and Cochise County officials to arrest and prosecute self-proclaimed border enforcers allows groups like Ranch Rescue to flourish.
Allen said that in Texas, Ranch Rescue members were arrested after an El Salvadoran couple claimed they were beaten and terrorized by Ranch Rescue members and property owner Joe Sutton. Four others, all Mexicans, have since come forward to claim they were subjected to similar treatment by the group on Sutton's ranch.
Ranch Rescue has been named along with Sutton in a civil suit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Another criminal case, against Ranch Rescue member Casey Nethercott, continues in Hogg County, Texas.
"I think it's incredibly dangerous. Those are the cases that are public, that we know about," Allen said. "We're concerned about the cases we haven't heard about."...
Look, let me state the obvious: First you have to rejigger the entire economy so that businesses looking for cheap employees (hello, Wal-Mart) and well-off individuals looking for household help no longer count on a steady supply of illegals. Then talk to me about the scourge of swarthy illegal border-crossers.