Without a doubt, to me it would have to be a group of people known as The Minuteman Project. Yes, I understand they have been much maligned as racist, and maybe to some extent some among their number are just that. But on the other hand, their deeds have revealed a fundamental truth about American national security, especially as it appies to the situation along the Mexican American border. It is non-existent.
It has been said that the security along the porous border is difficult, and that putting the National Guard at the border would only be a band-aid solution at best. As long as people are willing to come here and work, and can find work, and as long as there are employers willing to hire them, there is little we can do about it, and actually we shouldn't worry that much about it. They take jobs that Americans for the most part are unwilling to take, and they pay taxes and Social Security. This, it is claimed, balances out the expense they add to the social sevices safety nets of the various states. Even the crimes committed by them, it has been said, have been greatly exaggerated as to their overall impact. Sure it is a problem, but patience and undertanding is called for, not overreaction and nationalistic xenophobia.
But then Elliott Richardson, Democratic Governor of New Mexico, himself of Hispanic origins, took the unexpected step of declaring New Mexico to be in a state of emergency due to the problem of ilegal immigration. The Democratic governor of Arizona followed suit. Though Arnold Swarzzeneggar of California resisted (after floating out the idea as a trial balloon) as did the Republican Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, it was obvious that the problem was far from minor.
The Minutemen stepped up to the plate, and up to the border, and within a short period of time, the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States from Mexico came to a virtual standstill at that part of the border at which they positioned themselves. And the did all this without force of arms, with no true legal authority.
As is the case of many heroes, they were derided, ridiculed, and even villified. But they held firm, and made their point. They were American citizens, standing up for their right to protest a policy they found reprehensible, that of the governemnts all but turning a blind eye to the constant flow of ilegal immigrants into the United States, all for the purposes of attracting cheap labor and cheaper votes, and satisfying the political whims of Vincente' Fox, who condescendingly told one of the few concerned Congresmen of the U.S., Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado, that the American Southwest situation wasn't about a nation-it was about a region.
The meaning was obvious. Fox and his cohorts in Mexican government and business feel they have a right to the American Southwest, and if the truth were known as much else as they can peel away as possible. And they are doing it with the blessings of American buinesses and politicians, who for the most part can't see past their own narrow immediate self interests. And the American people, for the most part, are ignored.
The Minuteman Project was a thumb in all of their eyes, and a thorn in their sides, and put a pox on al their houses, at the same time. They deserve to be commended-not assaulted.