The United Constitutional Patriots, which might be called a “militia” but for its small numbers, is a group composed mostly of armed ex-servicemen who have set up a camp near Sunland Park, New Mexico, on the border with the Mexican state of Chihuahua. However, their mission is not to apprehend or fire at illegal border crossers, but to be the eyes and ears of Border Patrol agents. Mauricio Casillas of station KVIA’s Good Morning El Paso, interviewed the group’s commander, John Horton, who said: “This country was built on three things: God, guns and guts. That American flag has to keep flying. It’s in danger, a lot of danger right now.”
Horton said the group has weapons, but they are for self-defense. “We don’t want Rambos. We don’t want someone down here just to create a problem,” he said. “We’re not going to have any shootings. We’re against it. We are armed for our own protection.”
Horton said the group alerts Border Patrol agents when it encounters asylum seekers or aliens who have crossed the border illegally. Its members told KVIA (ABC-7) they are aware they are not allowed to detain anyone.
One member of the group told ABC-7 that the Border Patrol asked them for help. “The Border Patrol asked us to come here. So we decided this is where we’re going to build our base camp and we’ll run it from here,” the military veteran said.
A spokesman with the U.S. Border Patrol contacted by KVIA denied that his agency had asked the private group for help.
“We work with other federal agencies. Private groups like these, we typically don’t reach out to. I don’t know if that statement is accurate,” Agent Jose Romero told the station. “I don’t believe it to be accurate at this time.”
Romero told KVIA that any private citizen has the right to observe the Border Patrol in action. “That's fine. As long as they don’t interact with and try to get involved in the midst of the immigration process, or enforcing the laws on the border. That’s our job,” he said.
An article posted by The New American last November reported about armed civilians heading to the border to help stem the tide of illegal aliens. The article quoted a report from the liberal Washington Post whose choice of words describing the militia — “Gun-carrying civilian groups and border vigilantes” — implied that these militia members were taking the law into their own hands.
However, it should have been clear from the Post’s quote of Shannon McGauley, who is president of a militia called the Texas Minutemen, that the group’s intentions were to assist the Border Patrol, not to engage in vigilantism. “We’ll observe and report, and offer aid in any way we can,” said McGauley.
The New American’s November report asked the fair-minded observer not to complain about the militias, but to “complain about how a derelict, corrupt government makes them necessary,” by allowing approximately 22 million illegals to reside in our nation, with possibly 700,000 entering yearly.