The burgeoning crisis on the border where the inability of federal authorities to staunch the tide of illegal immigrants, the use of lawfare by progressive groups to hamstring enforcement efforts, and narco-terrorists using the cover of the illegal immigrant flow to engage in narcotics and human trafficking has created a sense of fear and hopelessness. One of the perhaps logical outcomes of this mess is the evolution of armed militias that have taken upon themselves to act as a border security force.
Over the past months there have been numerous reports, mainly in the progressive media, of these militia detaining illegal immigrants and holding them for the Border Patrol or sending them back across the border. And, unsurprisingly, there are people involved in these militias who seem to be more concerned about the color of the illegals than the fact that their immigration status.
As so often happens in these types of ventures, people often forget that they have enemies and when they make a big production of what they are doing, it might not get them a ticker tape parade but might result in a perp walk.
Last week, a New Mexico group called the Unified Constitutional Patriots, posted a lengthy video of their members detaining approximately 300 illegals.
Desperate times may call for desperate measures, but they also call for commonsense. Unsurprisingly, in a state where the sympathy among the Democrats who are in power is much with the illegals than with the citizens, the sh** hit the fan.
A militia group near the US-Mexico border detained hundreds of people this week, New Mexico’s attorney general told CNN.
“My office has been informed that this week, an armed group has detained nearly 300 people near Sunland Park, New Mexico,” Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a written statement. “These individuals should not attempt to exercise authority reserved for law enforcement.”
Videos posted online purportedly showing migrants held by the United Constitutional Patriots group and handed over to the US Border Patrol drew swift condemnation from the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico.
“We cannot allow racist and armed vigilantes to kidnap and detain people seeking asylum,” the ACLU said in a letter to state authorities denouncing the actions and asking the government to step in. “We urge you to immediately investigate this atrocious and unlawful conduct.”
These people might have flown under the radar indefinitely but the release of that video reminds one of the great scene from The Wire where drug kingpin Stringer Bell finds one of his subordinates taking notes during a meeting:
Saturday, the hammer dropped.
The leader of an armed group that is stopping undocumented migrants crossing into the United States from Mexico is expected in court on Monday as federal prosecutors crack down on civilians attempting to enforce immigration policy.
The FBI on Saturday arrested Larry Hopkins, leader of the United Constitutional Patriots group, whose camouflage-wearing armed members claim to have helped U.S. officials detain some 5,600 migrants in the last two months.
The group claims to be working in support of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration. Last week it drew the criticism of New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the American Civil Liberties Union, which accused it of illegally detaining migrants.
Hopkins, a 69-year-old who also goes by the name Johnny Horton, was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
A felon. In possession of a firearm. Leading a militia. That says its enforcing the law.
On the whole this is a much savvier move by the FBI than I’d have guessed they’d take. Were I asked to give my best guess I would have anticipated the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team to create an armed standoff, generate public sympathy for the people they are arresting, and then perjure themselves as they did with Randy Weaver and with the Bundy clan in Nevada and use their federal immunity to avoid prosecution.
By arresting the head of the group as a felon in possession of a firearm, they’ve not only taken out the leader but they’ve made the rest of the group look pretty stupid. I suspect they’ll start breaking up now that it is obvious that they may be facing federal indictments instead of an invitation to the White House.
I’m not a fan of people acting under color of authority, with firearms, doing whatever the hell they please. Shortly after Obama was inaugurated there was “oath keeper” movement in some law enforcement and military circles where they took a vow to uphold the Constitution if they received certain orders they thought conflicted with that document…and I took a lot of crap for it. (See The Malignant Nature Of The Oath Keeper Movement). But if you are going to engage in vigilantism, you can’t afford to think that your belief of what should be done is going to be a great defense at your trial and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t document it.
This is one of those quintessential “A for effort, F for judgment” moments. Hopefully, these groups will get the message that what they are doing is dangerous and could potentially find them in an inadvertent shootout with federal agents or result in the death of an illegal at their hands. Those are bad outcomes, but what makes this worse is that it is the worst sort of publicity for the problem they are trying to address because it plays into every anti-immigrant narrative the left wants to hang about the neck of anyone who wants border security.