The Nov. 13 editorial "Minutemen, Go Home," denouncing citizen volunteers lawfully acting on their concerns about rampant illegal immigration, was long on insults and misrepresentation and short on concern for the rule of law and national security.

Employers who willfully break the law and exploit illegal immigrants are sympathetically characterized by The Post as victims of harassment because the Minutemen document their criminal acts and forward that information to the authorities. Dismissive reference is made to illegal immigrants using fraudulent identification to work. We remember, even if The Post does not, that it was the illegal immigrant community in Northern Virginia that enabled several of the Sept. 11 hijackers to obtain fraudulent IDs, which they used to murder Americans.

The Post uses economic grounds to justify its callous stance regarding lawbreaking by claiming that there is "virtually no unemployment" in the area. Labor Department statistics for September show the average unemployment rate for Virginia, Maryland and the District at 4.6 percent. The jobs taken by illegal immigrants could be filled by unemployed Americans or legal immigrants. Legal immigrants are undercut in the labor market by illegal immigrants who work for below-market wages and without standard benefits such as health insurance.

With at least 13 million illegal immigrants in the country and thousands more pouring in every day, the federal government only recently acknowledged that it is not in control of the borders. The attention being paid to the issues of border security and illegal immigration stems in large part from the actions of the Minutemen. We are not anti-immigrant -- we are in favor of legal immigration. We do not seek to enforce the law; we seek for the laws to be enforced and for our borders to be secure.

Finally, the headline that The Post used for the editorial was supremely insulting. We are home. We would like the criminal immigrants to leave our home so that those legally in line may enter and share the American dream.

-- George Taplin


The writer is president of the Herndon Minutemen.