A coalition of armed militias is mobilizing supporters to fan out along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent immigrants from sneaking into the country. The movement, called "Operation Secure Our Border," aims to stem the recent surge of illegal immigrants into the country. But its militaristic bent and combative swagger — plus the fact that some participants also took part in the standoff at Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch — are sparking fears of potentially violent, extralegal confrontations at the border.
"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,'" Chris Davis, one of the organizers, says in a YouTube video that was yanked Monday amid a backlash from local Democrats.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection isn't keen on the operation; a spokesperson told the Houston Chronicle the agency does 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."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Still, Davis said the group would have "enough trained manpower" to begin patrols in a "legal and lawful manner" in a few weeks.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.