Thursday, May 26, 2011

Utah Minutemen Project: Undercover Report

UMP participates in debate at Salt Lake City Library
The Utah Minutemen Project (UMP) is often pitted against immigration reform groups in public debates, and has found its way into the arms of Republican Party partnership. It seems like every time I read an immigration-themed article in a local newspaper, I find some quotation from Eli Cawley, UMP's long-time leader.

While I recognize that many conservative Utahns support deportation, I find it strange that Eli is so frequently called upon to represent mainstream Republican values.  I have, for several years, believed his views to be quite extreme, especially with regard to the UMP's essential belief that citizen's should literally take the border law into their own rifle-cocking hands. I met Eli in 2008, when I attended a UMP meeting and took notes. A couple of friends and I attended the meeting under the guise of possible interest in the cause, although our real intent was merely to observe the workings of the organization.

Arizona minutemen at the border (
 I'm interested in the sympathetic portrayal of all groups of people. Even groups that represent public efforts antagonistic to my own principles. I hope to offer a frank-and-fair peek into the values and views of the members of the Utah Minutemen Project. This can be best done, not through a rehearsal of my own opinion and analysis, but by presenting what was said and done while I spent some time among them. Below are my UMP meeting notes: