[Guest post by Nan of American Daughter]
While our entire nation feels the blight of illegal immigration, the severest impact occurs in the states along our border with Mexico. So the San Diego Minutemen organized with a mission “to demand maximum border security and immigration enforcement both locally and at the national level.”
As one of their activities, they “adopted” Interstate 5, near the Border Patrol’s San Clemente checkpoint. Under the Adopt-A-Highway Program, businesses and other organizations can provide financial support for trash collection and beautification along a segment of main highway, in return for one “recognition” sign along that stretch of road. This picture shows Jeff Schwilk, founder of the San Diego Minutemen, standing under their sign.
As geography would have it, their sign was in an ideal position to be seen by illegal aliens sneaking into the United States from the southern border along the Interstate 5 corridor. So the militant advocacy groups supporting illegal immigration pressured the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) to remove the sign, citing “safety concerns.” Cowed by the powerful Latino Caucus, CALTRANS caved and removed the sign to a sparsely travelled stretch of California 52 — that is, from a busy Interstate to a remote state road.
The San Diego Minutemen sued in federal court, on the basis that their free speech rights had been violated. As their attorney, they selected Howard Kaloogian, a former California state legislator and an accomplished activist who had led the successful effort to recall former California governor Gray Davis. Last month, a federal judge ruled in their favor, and directed CALTRANS to restore the sign to its former position.
Yesterday, the sign was put back up in the original location. In a prepared statement, Jeff Schwilk said:
Twenty-eight days after a Federal Judge ruled that Caltrans did “irreparable harm” to the Constitutional rights of the San Diego Minutemen by unlawfully revoking our legal adopt-a-highway permit, thereby squelching our free speech, Caltrans finally put our sign back up….
Congratulations to these folk are in order, and to all the citizens in battles large and small across the country, who expend their own time and resources to preserve the rights that our founding fathers fought for. Our federal government should be fighting these battles for us, but since it has “dropped the ball” on matters of illegal immigration, it falls to ordinary citizens to preserve our country.