By J. D. Heyes
Thanks mostly to the refusal of Democrats to compromise with the Trump administration on measures to improve security along the U.S.-Mexico border, citizen militia groups seem to be stepping into the void.
And for that, they are now being targeted by the same government that canâ€™t or wonâ€™t do the job themselves.
AsÂ The National SentinelÂ reported, a New Mexico-based armed civilian militia called the United Constitutional Patriots has been interdicting mostly Central American migrants who have crossed illegally into the U.S., ostensibly to seek asylum, and turning them over to Border Patrol officers. Reports say the group has interdicted roughly 5,600 migrants in two months, and that they carry arms for self-defense â€” which makes sense, given the presence of armed cartel members all along the border.
The New York TimesÂ and other â€œmainstreamâ€ news organizations immediately portrayed the UCP in a bad light (â€˜right-wing militiaâ€™), not the migrants streamingÂ illegallyÂ into the country. In addition, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat,Â has also criticized the militia. In a statement to the Times cited byÂ Fox News, she said, â€œIt should go without saying that regular citizens have no authority to arrest or detain anyone.â€ She added that it is â€œcompletely unacceptableâ€ that migrants be â€œmenaced or threatenedâ€ upon entering the U.S.
It bears noting that Lujan Grisham, no sooner than she was sworn into office in January, ordered the few hundred National Guard troops sent to the border by her GOP predecessor to stand down, even as migrant crossings were increasing.
The governmentâ€™s first instinct, always, is to punish Americans who step up when the Feds refuse to do their jobsÂ
And since then, a growing number of New Mexico jurisdictions have been demanding the state provide additional assistance â€” in part by redeploying National Guard troops â€” in order to help them deal with the influx and shore up security:
â€” The Otero County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously recently in an appeal to the state for Guard troops to return to provide security, or else they will file legal action. Otoro County borders the El Paso, Texas, region, which is one of the busier ports of entry. County Commission Chairman Couy Griffin said the county is considering legal action against the state for â€œfailing to follow its constitutional duties towards the peopleâ€ of his county.
â€” The city of Las Cruces is appealing to its own citizens to donate more to the communityâ€™s shelters, which are overflowing with migrants. The shelters â€” churches and community buildings â€” are running out of basic commodities in order to take care of the waves of humanity deposited by the Border Patrol.Â
So, what happens? The FBI goes after the leader of the one organization trying to serve the people of their state and do the border security job the federal government cannot do and the New Mexico state government wonâ€™t do.
Over the weekend,Â FBI agents arrested Larry Hopkins, 69, a.k.a. Johnny Horton, on weapons charges â€” a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. And while members of the militia he leads say heâ€™ll get out of it, thatâ€™s not really the point.
Whatâ€™s important to note is that the moment American citizens step up to fill an obvious law enforcement and national security void, they are slapped down by an unappreciative government that ought to finding more ways to use Americans in similar roles than demonizing them, arresting them, and discouraging them from lending assistance.
As for Lujan Grisham, her decision to withdraw her Guard troops was 100 percent due to Trump hate.
â€œI reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the Southern border,â€ Lujan Grisham said in January as she signed the order, adding that the area has â€œsome of the safest communities in the country.â€
Guess who disagrees, governor?Â YourÂ communities.