- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Echoing the escalating anti-immigrant rhetoric of President Donald Trump, several far-right activists told AP they're organizing groups to assist the Border Patrol and will bring guns and bulletproof vests. This week, Trump announced he will send up to 15,000 active-duty military personnel to seal off the border from a group Central American migrants crossing Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S.
“They’re just laughing in our face,” Shannon McGauley, president of the Texas Minutemen militia, told AP. “It’s a free-for-all in America.”
Apparently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is taking the groups' talk seriously enough that it's warning property owners to expect armed civilians crossing their land.
Militias have patrolled the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years, claiming they contact the Border Patrol when they find crossers rather than engage in vigilante activity. However, as AP points out, "their presence has led to conflict in some cases" — including a 2009 incident where a militia member killed two people.
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