Vigilantes or patriots? FBI arrests head of militia rounding up illegal migrants at US border

Federal agents have detained the head of New Mexico’s people’s militia group, whose volunteer forces have ‘helped’ US border agents detain hundreds of illegal immigrants along the US-Mexico border, for illegal possession of arms.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, who runs the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) was arrested on Saturday on charges of possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon, the FBI said. No other information was shared with the public. The 69-year-old is due to appear in US District Court in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Monday.

Also on rt.com US militia hunting illegal migrants is cut from crowdfunding for ‘promoting hate & discrimination’...

“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas stated.

Today’s arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.

The militia, made up mostly of veterans armed with guns and other tactical gear, had volunteered to help the Border Patrol agents deal with a wave of immigrants in the vicinity of Sunland Park, New Mexico until President Trump’s wall is built there. Their tactics, however, triggered a massive backlash as they were seen chasing down suspected illegals and holding them at gunpoint before surrendering them to US authorities.

Also on rt.com Citizen’s arrest or kidnapping? US militias told to stand down after catching 300+ migrants (VIDEOS)...

This week, Hopkin’s ‘vigilante patriots’ detained nearly 300 people in the desert. Footage of what they call ‘citizen's arrests’ –and what critics denounce as simple ‘kidnapping’– showed a big crowd, including women and children kneeling on the ground waiting for government officers to pick them up.

United Constitutional Patriots New Mexico Border Ops more still flooding in...

While the group believes their harsh tactics are legal and necessary to stop what President Trump calls an “invasion” over the US southern border, UCP’s methods have not been welcomed by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who noted that “regular citizens have no authority to arrest or detain anyone.” Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union called them a “fascist militia” and demanded that authorities investigate the organization.

Also on rt.com Like immigrants? Here’s an 'unlimited supply’: Trump threatens to dump illegals in sanctuary cities

  • Published in World

Migrant caravan faces armed officials and razor wire at US border

More buses of exhausted people in a caravan of Central American asylum seekers reached the U.S. border Thursday as migrants crowded Tijuana streets and looked on as officials fortified the border with razor wire and heavily armed agents stood guard.

With U.S. border inspectors at the main crossing into San Diego processing only about 100 asylum claims a day, it could take weeks if not months to process the thousands in the caravan that departed from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, more than a month ago.

Tijuana's robust network of shelters was already stretched to the limit, having squeezed in double their capacity or more as families slept on the floor on mats and gathered on streets.

Others endured the evening chill to sleep at an oceanfront park with a view of San Diego office towers and heavily armed U.S. Border Patrol agents on the other side of a steel-bollard fence.

Migrants from poor Central American countries -mostly Hondurans- moving towards the United States in hopes of a better life, are seen near the U.S. border in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, on November 13, 2018Migrants from poor Central American countries -mostly Hondurans- moving towards the United States in hopes of a better life, are seen near the U.S. border in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, on November 13, 2018 Credit: Guillermo Arias/AFP

To claim asylum in San Diego, migrants enter their names in a tattered notebook held together by duct tape and managed by the migrants in a plaza outside the entry to the main border crossing.

On Thursday, migrants who registered six weeks ago were getting their names called. The waiting list has grown to more than 3,000 names and stands to become much longer with the caravans.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has deployed some 5,800 military troops to border in Texas, Arizona and California.

  • Published in World
Subscribe to this RSS feed