A volunteer militia, including veterans of June’s standoff at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, is recruiting members to patrol the border areas of Mexico and Texas to help deal with the massive influx of illegal aliens swamping immigration facilities.
But it’s also drawing warnings from federal officials against private groups “taking matters into their own hands,” according to a report in The Blaze, citing the Houston Chronicle.
One of the group’s leaders told KRGV, an ABC affiliate covering the Rio Grande Valley, the militia is aiming to protect “national sovereignty.” It has set up a website, the “Patriot Information Hotline” to attract recruits and supplies for border patrol activities.
“We have patriots all across this country who are willing to sacrifice their time, their monies, even quit their jobs to come down and fight for freedom, liberty and national sovereignty,” militia leader Chris Davis told KRGV.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, groups involved in the effort call themselves “Patriots,” “Oathkeepers” and “Three Percenters,” a reference to the proportion of American colonists who took up arms against England during the Revolution.
Davis declined to go into detail about exactly how the militia would operate, but a 21-minute training video that was posted on YouTube before being taken down after complaints, made it pretty clear there weren’t many legal niceties involved.
“How?” Davis asked on the video, according to the Chronicle (subscription only). “You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, ‘Get back across the border or you will be shot.’”
According to The Blaze, Davis told the Chronicle the quote had been taken out of context. Illegals caught by the militias would be treated humanely, he said.
“If we come across a family that may have made it across the border, we will give them water and food and make contact with ICE or Border Patrol and tell them we have these people here,” he said.
But federal officials – possibly still leery of the power of grassroots militia elements only a month after the volunteers forced the government to back down from the Nevada standoff – issued a statement warning that private efforts at border control could have “disastrous consequences.”
“Customs and Border Protection does not endorse or support any private group or organization from taking matters into their own hands as it could have disastrous, personal and public safety consequence,” the statement said.
“CBP appreciates the efforts of concerned citizens as they act as our eyes and ears. Securing our nation’s borders can be dangerous. Interdicting narcotics and deterring and apprehending individuals illegally entering the U.S. requires highly trained law enforcement personnel.”
And they’ve been doing a bang-up job so far.