Here's an excerpt from the introduction:
My instincts about these issues were perhaps confirmed in November 2005, when I received an e-mail from a stranger whom I will here call Martha. Martha described herself as a 65-year-old white woman who had recently joined the California Minute Men, a group of citizens organized to help stem what Martha described as an invasion of her beloved country. Martha wrote me to lament the fact that a 15-year friendship with a black neighbor ended on the day that she asked her black friend to join her at the border. With horror, disdain, and anger, the black friend exclaimed, â€?I donâ€™t do anything to help white people.â€? Martha was crushed. She is not a racist, she explained to me in her e-mail. She does not hate Mexicans â€“ her husband of 23 years is Mexican American. Rather, her e-mail expressed rage at illegal immigration and at the failure of blacks to join the fight against it. After all, she argued, it is their country, too, that is being invaded.
Marthaâ€™s frustration has risen to the point that she is willing to stay up all night patrolling the border in the belief, or hope, that her lone act, multiplied by the acts of several hundred others, might actually reduce illegal immigration. Her e-mail expressed fear about not wanting her children and grandchildren to be forced to learn Spanish in order to live and work in their own country. She decries the 14th Amendmentâ€™s guarantee of citizenship by birth for those who entered the country illegally, and she laments the drain on local goods and services that she claims has even led hospital emergency rooms in Los Angeles to close. She ended her e-mail with the capitalized words GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Marthaâ€™s fears might appear extreme, but they are not without foundation. Immigration is a growing and increasingly public concern in the United States today.