The group “detained” the migrants legally and lawfully until border patrol agents could arrive. A member of the United Constitutional Patriots told ABC-7 357 migrants were detained, but the US Border Patrol would not confirm the exact number.
A message posted on the United Constitutional Patriots’ page after the migrants were detained Monday night stated: “This group was so huge we won’t have an accurate count until the BP [Border Patrol] is finished processing them. This needs to stop!!!!! Build the wall.”
[…] “This country was built on three things: God, guns and guts. That American flag has to keep flying,” said United Constitutional Patriots Commander John Horton, “It’s in danger, a lot of danger right now.”
The video shows Border Patrol agents as they apprehend members of the group of migrants that crossed into the US illegally. When asked why they entered the US, some of the migrants said they are seeking asylum.
ABC-7 spoke with members of the United Constitutional Patriots in March 2019. The group told ABC-7 its members were armed. “We’re just Americans. We’re veterans, we’re ex-law enforcement, we’re people that care about our national security,” one member said.
The say they know that they are not allowed to detain, approach or engage people entering the US illegally, but the group said it was simply at the border to alert Border Patrol agents when undocumented immigrants cross into the US.
El Paso, where the illegals were filmed, has seen a significant spike in the past year, as other corridors in the US have become more challenging. In October and November of 2018,as the average number of apprehensions grew, El Paso’s share doubled.
The video, which was streamed live on Facebook, shows illegals giving themselves up to the armed militia, intending to turn themselves over to Border Patrol.
For at least two months now, the armed group has been patrolling the New Mexico-Chihuahua border for illegals from Central America.
The group describe themselves on Facebook as: “Americans that believe in the constitution and the rights of every American that will stand up for there rights in unity and help keep America safe.” Most of the militia cover their faces while dealing with migrants.
The American Civil Liberties Union denounced the militia’s actions on Thursday that demanded in a letter that New Mexico’s governor and attorney general investigate the group.
“We cannot allow racist and armed vigilantes to kidnap and detain people seeking asylum,” two lawyers for the ACLU, stated in the letter.
But a spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots, told the New York Times that his group’s actions were legal, explaining that the detention of the migrants was similar to “a verbal citizen’s arrest”.
A surge in migrants from Central America, has led to a total of apprehensions on the border reaching more than 92 000 in March. In another border state Arizona, the mayor of Yuma, has meanwhile declared an emergency this week as the city sought federal and state assistance to deal with the flood of migrant arrivals.