KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A retired police captain from the sprawling Kansas City suburbs is starting a local chapter of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, one of dozens of branches surfacing in the Heartland as the group expands its reach beyond the U.S.-Mexico border.
Ed Hayes, who joined the group just six months ago, said the Minutemen hope to identify illegal immigrants in their homes and on the job to pressure federal officials to enforce immigration laws -- apartment by apartment.
"Anybody that wants to can go to the border. I just feel there's enough to do right here," said Hayes, a 64-year-old grandfather from Overland Park, Kan. "If you go to the stores on Saturdays, they're full of people who are legal immigrants, I'm sure. But many of them don't speak our language and you can be assured that they're illegal."
The controversial civilian watch group is best known for sending its members to stake out the desert in round-the-clock shifts to report illegal immigrants to immigration officials. But its newest recruits say proposals to grant illegal immigrants a path toward citizenship motivated them to get active at home, in the Midwest.
"We're not against immigration; we are against all the illegals coming in, and they're coming in by the droves," Hayes told KMBC's Jim Flink. "We don't enforce the law -- we watch and we report."
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