'Minutemen' Open New Front in Fight Against Illegal Immigration

HERNDON, Va., Nov. 2, 2005 — -- Opposition to the 10 million to 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States is growing. A citizen's group called the Minutemen, which conducts Mexican border patrols, is heading to the nation's suburbs, where migrant workers go for work.

"I think that we as people have the right to stand up and say, 'Enough is enough. It's got to stop," said Diane Bonieskie, a Minutemen volunteer.

In Herndon, for example, 15 members of the Minutemen gathered to take their war on illegal immigration to the heart of suburbia. They were armed with paper badges, walkie-talkies, digital cameras and video recorders.

The Minutemen show up where illegal immigrants wait to be picked up for day jobs. They photograph the workers and their employers and plan to give the pictures to immigration and tax officials.

George Taplin, a retired naval officer, is the local commander.

"We want to see all the illegal aliens leave Herndon," Taplin said. "I don't know who these people are. They could be painters. They could be mass murderers."

The suburban Minutemen chapter was created after local officials floated a controversial proposal to provide a community center for day laborers, who have been congregating at a 7-Eleven convenience store.

The immigrants come searching for jobs in painting, construction and landscaping.

A painting contractor who asked not to be identified for fear of being fined or arrested was blunt about why he hires illegal immigrants.

"They make less money," he said. "We won't be able to do as much work as we can do with the people we can hire from 7-Eleven. The prices, they're just going to be much higher for the owners of homes," he added.

Supporters of the workers say they are only trying to make a living and many are here legally.

"They are trying to make some money. They are trying to survive," said Edgar Rivera, an organizer of the Tenants' and Workers' Support Committee. "What the paramilitary are doing is assuming that everybody here is illegal. That's not true. … It's racist! It's a racist movement!"

But Taplin disagrees.

"We support the law," he said. "That is not racist."

One migrant worker had a simple explanation about the need for illegal labor.

"We do the hard work that the North Americans don't do," said Walter Rodriguez, an immigrant from Colombia, speaking in Spanish.

The Minutemen are not buying it. They vow to continue their patrol.

ABC News' Pierre Thomas filed this report for "World News Tonight."