ACLU Demands Probe After Armed Extremist Militia “Arrests” Migrants In Coordination With Border Patrol

The Guardian reports:

Armed right wing militia members 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.

Buzzfeed News reports:

In a 41-minute video posted by the group this week, a large gathering of people, including several young children, are seen sitting in dirt as members of the militia encircle. Children are bundled up in sweaters, some wearing backpacks, while illuminated by flashlights.

State officials publicly condemned the United Constitutional Patriots after the militia detained nearly 300 people near Sunland Park, New Mexico, at gunpoint. “These individuals should not attempt to exercise authority reserved for law enforcement,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement.

Splinter News reports:

The ACLU described United Constitutional Patriots as “an armed fascist militia organization” who the organization says “kidnap and detain people seeking asylum.”

“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 sent to the state’s governor and attorney general. The organization urged the state to “immediately investigate this atrocious and unlawful conduct”