Armed rightwing militia members such as the United Constitutional Patriots detained a large group of migrants at the US-Mexico border and coordinated with US border patrol agents to have them arrested, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, in a series of actions the civil liberties organization called a “kidnapping” and a flagrant violation of the law.
Several videos taken at the border in New Mexico this week appeared to show men belonging to a group that calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots approaching migrant families and children, ordering them to sit down, calling federal agents on them, and at one point potentially misrepresenting themselves by saying “border patrol” as they approached.
“The Trump administration’s vile racism has emboldened white nationalists and fascists to flagrantly violate the law,” the ACLU of New Mexico said in a letter to the state’s governor and attorney general, urging them to “immediately investigate this atrocious and unlawful conduct”.
The ACLU described the group as “an armed fascist militia organization” made up of “vigilantes” working to “kidnap and detain people seeking asylum” and accused the group of directly making illegal arrests.
The group has repeatedly appeared in local news stories in recent weeks, expressing support for Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and presenting themselves as “volunteers” aiding border patrol efforts.