Houston Chronicle: Anti-government citizen militia groups want to ‘secure the border’ in Texas

From today’s Houston Chronicle website:

SAN ANTONIO – A slew of anti-government groups — many of which participated in the standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch — are recruiting armed volunteers to travel to the Texas-Mexico border as a citizen militia to participate in “Operation Secure Our Border,” which aims to stop the surge of immigrants into the country.

The groups, who identify themselves as “Patriots,” “Oathkeepers” and “Three Percenters,” are using social media, blogs and a 24-hour hotline to recruit and mobilize volunteers that will travel to Laredo, carry firearms and attempt to assist law enforcement agencies on the border.

However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they do not “endorse or support any private group or organization from taking matters into their own hands as it could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences.”

Chris Davis, a 37-year-old truck driver listed as commander for the militia group, told the San Antonio Express-News he believes law enforcement agencies welcome the help.

“Everybody realizes something has to be done and we are here to look out for our fellow man while ensuring our national sovereignty,” said Davis, who served in the Army and National Guard and has been involved in Open Carry Texas events including last year’s rally at the Alamo.

Davis, who lives near San Antonio, said the militia group is in preliminary stages of recruiting and training volunteers and will move to Laredo “in a few weeks” when they have “enough trained manpower” but declined to estimate a number.

The group will secure the border in a “legal and lawful manner,” Davis said. However, a 21-minute YouTube video of Davis, which was first reported by the McAllen Monitor, suggests otherwise.

“How?” Davis asked on the video. “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 said he removed the video Monday because it was taken out of context “by a newspaper that supports amnesty.”

“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,” Davis told the San Antonio Express-News.

Davis said he will be spreading the word about the militia Monday night in an interview on FOX News. The group is circulating a “call to action” that includes supplies needed, mission, timeline and headquarters location.

“These missions are all a GO mission. We need Boots on the ground on all missions. I for one do not understand why our Militias and lll% Groups and Patriots are not there filling the borders. We need at least 20 thousand troops there too secure the border. We need to save America. Look to the future. Step up NOW!!,” the call to action circulating Facebook and websites reads, adding that 20,000 “troops” are needed.

Volunteers are being vetted through criminal background checks, Davis said.

A call to the “Patriot Hotline”, which said there are already “boots on the ground” in Laredo, was met with a request for a name to perform a “criminal background check to make sure you don’t have any felonies”, but it is unclear what documentation is required.

Many of the groups sharing the call to action use anti-federal government rhetoric similar to that used by tea party groups in their posts.

“We at 2 Million Bikers to D.C. believe in God, Country, our Constitution and ALL our Bill of Rights as written by our Founding Fathers. We will work to peacefully oppose any and all who wish to fundamentally transform our country from our founding Father’s original intent,” the group’s Facebook page reads.

Some volunteers have posted videos to YouTube describing their motive for joining the militia group.

“We’re tired of those SOB’s in Washington D.C. bringing all these illegals into our country and just spreading ’em out with all their diseases all over the place,” said YouTube user 1HellonHeels, explaining why she is joining “Operation Secure Our Border”, which uses the hashtag #OpSOB on Facebook.

Davis said the “influx of illegal immigrants is bringing bad elements” to the country such as “sickness.”

On Sunday, Governor Rick Perry suggested that President Barack Obama could be leading a conspiracy to bring immigrants into the country.

“We either have an incredibly inept administration, or they’re in on this somehow,” Perry said in an interview with ABC. “I mean, I hate to be conspiratorial, but I mean, how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and then into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?”


Twitter: @KoltenParker

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