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Border Activist Vows to Start Work on Fence

April 21, 2006|From the Associated Press

TUCSON — If the government doesn't build a security fence along the Mexico border, Minuteman Project border watch leader Chris Simcox says he and his supporters will.

Simcox, whose civilian watch group opposes illegal immigration, said Wednesday that he was sending an ultimatum to President Bush to deploy military reservists to the Arizona border by May 25 or his supporters would break ground on their building project.

"We're going to show the federal government how easy it is to build these security fences, how inexpensively they can be built when built by private people and free enterprise," Simcox said.

Congress has been debating an immigration overhaul for months. One bill, approved by the House in December, calls for nearly 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. The proposal has angered Mexicans; Mexico President Vicente Fox called it "shameful."

Simcox said half a dozen landowners along the Arizona-Mexico border have said they will allow a fence on their land, and others in California, Texas and New Mexico have agreed as well.

He said surveyors and contractors had offered to help, and that some had said they would provide heavy equipment for his group to build the fence.

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