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Armed citizen militias build up along US-Mexico border

Armed militias continue to patrol the United States-Mexico border seeking to repel any migration north, but critics warn that these self-styled ‘freedom defenders’ lingering on private land represent a powder keg that could have “disastrous” consequences.

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READ: Militia Vows To Take On Immigration Problem By Blocking International Bridges In Texas

Near Brownsville, Texas, a group of private citizens simply known as the Patriots were invited to watch 21 acres of border land owned by Rusty Monsees. The group, Reuters reported, has been on the land since early summer, when news reports announced that unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied minors from Central America had crossed the border.

Members of the "Patriots" Huggie Bear (L, not his real name), Ray (C, no last name given) and Will (R, no last name given) patrol in their UTV near a camp of patriots near the U.S.-Mexico border outside Brownsville, Texas September 2, 2014. (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

Members of the “Patriots” Huggie Bear (L, not his real name), Ray (C, no last name given) and Will (R, no last name given) patrol in their UTV near a camp of patriots near the U.S.-Mexico border outside Brownsville, Texas September 2, 2014. (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

Monsees said he asked for help on his border land given “illegals” have allegedly poisoned his dogs and shot at his house. “If they [the militia] leave, I’m dead,” he said.

READ: SHERIFF: ‘We don’t want militias down here patrolling the border’

In the first half of 2014, around 52,000 children, among many others, attempted the trek, fleeing poverty, violence and systemic abuse present in their home nations. Many have ended up warehoused in US military installations and other facilities awaiting their fate amongst an inhospitable, nativist climate. President Barack Obama has vowed some type of immigration reform via executive action in the face of an inert Congress. Yet Obama has said he will not move on reform until after congressional midterm elections in November.

The US Border Patrol has warned that armed vigilantes taking intimidation tactics too far could have “disastrous personal and public safety consequences.”

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