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article imageArmed, masked militias flocking to Texas border

By Martin Laine     Aug 2, 2014 in Politics
It’s like a scene out of Ukraine — masked militiamen, many armed with semi-automatic rifles, patrolling the border against invaders. But this is Texas, and the invaders are unarmed women and children.
There are currently about 10 “operations on the ground along the Texas border” said Barbie Rogers of the Patriots Information Hotline, which is helping to organize the militia activity, in an article on the conservative website.
These are civilian volunteer organizations, with no legal standing, raising questions about what they can and cannot do.
Chris Davis, 37, who leads a group called “Operation Secure Our Borders” posted a YouTube video in which he says “You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, ‘Get back across the border or you will be shot.’”
Davis has since taken down the video, and he has revised his statement, saying his group will act “in a legal and lawful manner” to the secure the border. “If we come across a family that may have made it across the border, we will give them water and food and make contact with ICE or Border Patrol and tell them we have these people here.”
Reaction to the militias has been mixed. Some local sheriffs have declined their offer of help.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement opposing the presence of the militias saying they “could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences.”
State Se. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) has denounced the groups in a statement.
“Local law enforcement and Border Patrol agents have been clear. The presence of these outside, independent militia groups does nothing to secure the border; it only creates an unsafe situation for law enforcement officials that are protecting our communities.”
Neither Texas Gov. Rick Perry nor Attorney General Greg Abbott have commented on the presence of the militias, something that is being interpreted as a tacit approval of their actions. A group of Texas Democrats in Congress have sent a letter to Abbott calling on him to crack down on the militia groups, according to an article on The Hill website.
“These lawless militias could worsen an already difficult situation by promoting violence against minors who are seeking refuge and fleeing violent situations in their home countries,” the letter said.
A spokeswoman for Abbott responded by calling the letter a “partisan political stunt,” according to an article in the Dallas News.
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