Reported by: Kory Raftery
The Minutemen Civil Defense Corps says it is starting a chapter on the Central Coast, but not everyone is pleased.
Whether they support or oppose the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, one thing is very clear, people are very passionate about the group and its message.
Organizers held a meeting Thursday night at the Santa Maria Inn.
Two groups, two perspectives. One group, the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps call themselves a national neighborhood watch, fighting to keep illegal immigrants out of the U.S.
"Our borders need to be secured, and that's what our goal is," said Paula James, Minutemen organizer.
The other, fighting what they say is unjust profiling of Hispanics.
"Are they gonna pick up my kids, my grandkids, because they are different, because they don't have blue eyes?" said Mary Solorio Jacka.
"We'll often have people speak out of hand and say the Minutemen are racists," said Carl Braun. But the group says that's not the case. In fact, Carl Braun says his job is a diversity recruiter, helping women and minorities as long as they are in the country legally.
But not everyone believes that. Protesters say the group spreads terror into the community and tries to intimidate.
"They need to change the laws if their issue is with illegal immigration because there's a lot of avenues they can use," said Mary.
The Minuteman group says they feel there is a need for a presence on the Central Coast.
The protesters say the group is not welcome.
Citizens formed the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps in 2005. The group says it currently has 2,400 members.