Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Despite White Supremacist Ties, Nativist Minutemen Project Founder Gilchrist Stumped For GOP Candidates

Jim Gilchrist is sought by GOP candidates to burnish their tough-on-immigrant credentials, and treated by the media as a legitimate authority on immigration issues.
August 30, 2011

This article originally appeared on the Web site of Media Matters for America.

Last summer, Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist appeared on CNN's Larry King Live to defend Arizona's notorious immigration crackdown law, SB 1070.

The law requires that local and state police officers check the immigration status of any individual they encounter in the course of their law enforcement duties who the officer reasonably suspects to be an immigrant in the country illegally.

Pressed by CNN host Larry King to explain what sort of criteria officers might legitimately use, Gilchrist said, "Responding to an officer, 'No hablo English, Gringo go back to Europe.' Obviously there's an issue there that probably the person may be illegal and perhaps the officer should pursue that."

King identified Gilchrist as the founder and president of the Minuteman Project. That's half-true. Gilchrist is co-founder of the Minuteman Project, the nativist group that popularized the concept of placing armed but untrained civilian volunteers on the U.S.-Mexico border to discourage immigrants from entering the country illegally. But he's not been the group's president since February 2007 when the Minuteman Project board of directors fired Gilchrist for allegedly stealing donations.


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