Militias complicate situation on Texas border

AP — MISSION, Texas – On a recent moonlit night, U.S. Border Patrol agents began rounding up eight immigrants hiding in and around a canal near the Rio Grande. A Texas state police officer soon arrived to help. Then out of the darkness emerged seven more armed men in fatigues. Agents assumed the camouflaged crew that joined in pulling the immigrants from the canal’s milky green waters was a tactical unit from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Only later did they learn that the men belonged to the Texas Militia, a group of armed private citizens that dresses like a team of elite police officers but has no law-enforcement training or authority of any kind. The presence of armed militia members working on their own in a region known for human smuggling, drug smuggling and illegal immigration has added one more variable to an already complex and tense situation as America’s border crisis escalates. A surge of illegal immigration put renewed attention on the border this summer. About 63,000 unaccompanied child immigrants were arrested between October and July, the vast majority of them in South Texas. Some militia and self-described “patriot” groups responded with a call to seal the border. [Read More]