Fallout from the aftermath of a bitter quarrel among members of the Minuteman Project and its founder, Jim Gilchrist, is continuing to affect the anti-illegal immigration organization.
Laguna Beach activist Eileen Garcia has announced her resignation from the Minuteman Project and says she plans to start her own group especially for women. Garcia achieved national prominence with the Minuteman Project and her spinoff, Gilchrist’s Angels, for women only.
Garcia sued the City of Laguna Beach over the funding of a day labor hiring center that she believes fosters illegal immigrants. The city won the first round of the case last week when a judge refused to prohibit city funding for the center. Garcia says she plans to appeal the ruling. The case was filed by the national conservative group Judicial Watch.
Gilchrist said he feels betrayed by Garcia because she did not side with him in the dispute over ownership of Minuteman Project and its assets.
Gilchrist is fighting to restore the organization after dropping a lawsuit against a group he calls “hijackers” who accused Gilchrist of keeping funds for his personal use. The group at one point had wrested the organization away from Gilchrist, but he is back in business with a new website and fundraising organization.
“She is affiliated with the hijackers who engaged in malicious propaganda and defamation,” Gilchrist said. “These scumbags tried to destroy me and this all led to my confronting Eileen and saying, ‘Why did you never stick up for me?’ She said she won’t take sides."
Gilchrist said he didn’t go to Garcia’s Christmas party because of the rift, which preceded Garcia’s announcement.
Garcia said she considers Gilchrist a “dear friend” and plans to work with his group in the future.
“I admire him and respect all he has done for this movement. He has worked tirelessly in the face of much opposition to bring this issue to the forefront of America. I will be working with the Minuteman Project as well as many other groups in the future.
"For now, my focus is getting my website up and running and helping women across America get involved in keeping our country strong,” she said.
Gilchrist ran for Congress in 2005 on the American Independent Party ticket.
Garcia’s website is www.betsyrosspatriots.com