It’s probably a pretty bad sign when a government warning about armed militias rolling out to the U.S.-Mexico border manages to fly largely under the radar for days, due to the sheer volume of other incredibly bad shit going on elsewhere in the country.
That, however, seems to be exactly what’s happened, with a Customs and Border Patrol warning issued last week reportedly telling Texas landowners to expect “possible armed civilians” on their property in response to a Central American caravan of asylum seekers—many of them women and children—currently working its way through southern Mexico en route to the United States.
According to the AP, multiple militia members plan to bring guns and other tactical equipment in an effort to to augment the actual border patrol agents already stationed along the border. “They’re just laughing in our face,” Texas Minutemen president Shannon McGauley told the AP. “It’s a free-for-all in America.”
McGauley estimated to the AP that, beyond an unspecified number of militia members already patrolling portions of the border, he expects to add “25 to 100 more” in the coming days.
In an email to Splinter, a CBP spokesperson cited similar incidents in the past, and downplayed the warning as a simple precautionary measure aimed at informing a select group of Texas residents who to contact within the agency, should they encounter any trespassers in the future.
While vigilante border patrols are nothing new, this latest warning from CBP comes as President Donald Trump has ramped up his extreme anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric about the caravan and immigrants in general; just yesterday, Trump suggested he could drastically reshape the 14th Amendment with an executive order revoking birthright citizenship. As such, the prospect of gun-toting amateurs posting up to live out some bizarre Red Dawn cosplay fantasy takes on both an added air of menace and a level of bizarre redundancy, given the thousands of armed military service members also headed to the border to essentially do chores.
We’ve reached out to CBP for comment on both the specific warning reportedly issued to residents along the Texas border, as well as their broader policy surrounding vigilante groups. I will update this story if they respond.