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CIA Leak Probe; China's Threat; California Minutemen; Maytag for Sale; Replacing Justice O'Connor

Lou Dobbs Tonight - CNN -- July 18, 2005

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The legislation would also help U.S. businesses verify their employees are in this country legally. It would penalize employers that knowingly hire illegal aliens. The bill would eventually create a temporary guest worker program, but only after our border has been secured. Congressman Tancredo says the guest worker program would in no way offer amnesty to illegal aliens.

Protests and violence erupting at our border with Mexico as another neighborhood watch group begins in California. Their mission, to protect Americans from the dangers of our broken borders, millions of illegal aliens, possible terrorists and increasingly dangerous drug and human smuggling gangs.

Casey Wian reports from Campo, California.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): About two dozen volunteers from the California Minuteman Project began patrolling a 25-mile stretch of the border east of San Diego this weekend. It's an effort to sustain the momentum created by Arizona's Minuteman Project earlier this year. Though there are fewer illegal aliens crossing the border here, it's a popular route for violent drug smugglers.

MIKE LEFEVE, CALIFORNIA MINUTEMAN: We want to get support for these Border Patrol agents. They're understaffed, they're overworked, and they're doing an unbelievable job out here.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Racists go home! Racists go home!

WIAN: Outnumbering the minutemen, a group of aggressive protesters who tried to drive the civilian volunteers away. They included anarchists, communists and advocates of returning the southwest to Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was stolen by the United States government and we're going to take it back. We're going to smash the border.

WIAN: This local rancher had to be rescued by sheriff's deputies after protesters surrounded his motorcycle. One minuteman did leave his post, but most others stood their ground. This state senator was also harassed by the mob while touring the minuteman outposts.

BILL MORROW, CALIFORNIA STATE Senate: I would respectfully disagree with my president's characterization using the word "vigilante." It's not taking the law into your own hands when you're simply being a good citizen and reporting what is a crime.

WIAN: This California minuteman traveled a thousand miles from Colorado.

JIM HAAS, CALIFORNIA MINUTEMAN: We want to get President Bush and Congress to do their job.

WIAN: James Chase organized this group of minutemen. Only a few of his Arizona counterparts carried weapons. Most of these minutemen are armed.

JAMES CHASE, FOUNDER, CALIFORNIA MINUTEMEN: We're not going to fire first on anyone. But we do reserve the right to stay alive. And that's not all those guns are there for.

WIAN: Chase says federal agents have told him Mexican drug dealers have put a $15,000 bounty on the heads of minutemen.

SEAN ISHAM, U.S. BORDER PATROL: I've heard those reports in the past. This area is very dangerous. There's a lot of narcotics smuggling that does go on here, as well as human trafficking.

The smugglers are ruthless out there. They will do anything to get their cargo through.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WIAN: The California minutemen say they've had several dozen volunteers watching the border, mostly at night since Saturday. Now, the Border Patrol says there have been no apprehensions of illegal aliens as a result of these volunteers so far -- Lou.

DOBBS: Casey, that is a remarkable statement from the Border Patrol, to say that this area is dangerous because of the drug smuggling and the human smuggling going on in that area. He sounded absolutely helpless, and that did not sound like a U.S. border, it sounded like a border between third world countries.

WIAN: I don't know that I would describe him as helpless. Maybe it came across that way. But I will point out that not for from here, just a couple of weeks ago, a Border Patrol agent was shot by a suspected drug smuggler, shot in the leg. He's recovering still in the hospital now, Lou.

So it is very, very violent and very dangerous, despite a fairly heavy Border Patrol presence in this sector.

DOBBS: And the fact that there were so many protesters there, as you point out, as you reported from various groups trying to reclaim the southwestern United States, in their judgment, for Mexico, for communists, what other groups?

WIAN: Well, it's amazing. There were a wide range of groups. Most of them advocating just completely disassembling the borders, doing away with the borders.

I mean, we talk about the open borders crowd on this program. This really was the open borders crowd. They're talking about there should be no border here.

There were also other radical groups. There was one woman during the protest who said, "I'm a feminist single mother, a lesbian feminist single mother. And we've got to protest the minutemen because they're going against us."

So every radical group you could think of it seemed like was represented here this weekend -- Lou.

DOBBS: Casey Wian reporting from the U.S.-Mexican border, Campo, California. Thank you, Casey. The original Minuteman Project in Arizona has gained momentum. It's begun chapters now in 21 states. Many of them far from our border with Mexico. In fact, like the immigration crisis itself, the chapters of the minutemen have spanned the entire country now from Washington, to Minnesota, to Maine. Each of these chapters have anywhere from half a dozen members to hundreds of volunteers.

The minuteman founders tell us volunteers are also gathering in other states and they're encouraging people in all 50 states to join that project.

Still ahead here, a bidding war over an American icon, how communist China is taking the phrase "Buy American" to a whole new level. Just as Americans ignore the concept, the Chinese are paying a lot of attention. We'll have that report.

And the Republicans' desperate attempt to gain support for CAFTA, and how China has been moved into a central role.

Those stories and more still ahead.

Stay with us.

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