On March 23, President Bush had harsh words for armed right-wing militants (a.k.a. the Minutemen) planning to patrol the border for migrants:
QUESTION: And, President Bush, I wanted to ask you about your opinion about those people who are hunting migrant people along the border.
PRESIDENT BUSH: I’m against vigilantes in the United States of America. I’m for enforcing law in a rational way. That’s why you got a Border Patrol, and they ought to be in charge of enforcing the border.
Today, however, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan suggested that the Minutemen are just peaceful, law abiding citizens doing their “American duty”:
Q Does the President think that these people are doing their American duty, which is what they’ve said — they’re trying to help —
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’ve seen the reports over the weekend where some individuals have been reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities so that the authorities could take control of those matters. And so that’s what I’ve seen from the news reports.