Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) have raised the alarm regarding the increase in paramilitary groups along the U.S.- Mexico border. In their statement, they urge Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to do everything they can in order to “crack down on vigilante groups” and to provide more federal oversight in the area. They further argued that more protection should be provided to migrants.
In a letter sent to both Garland and Mayorkas, the three Democratic Senators warned that the paramilitary organization along the border closely resembles the “Ku Klux Klan border patrols”, and their sole purpose is to endanger immigrants as well as “illegally detain” them. They further add that all of the moves made by these paramilitary organizations undermine the federal government.
Paramilitary groups stationed along the border are nothing new for the two countries. In fact, they have been a common occurrence along the U.S. Mexico border since the establishment of a binational border. However, the Senators specifically pointed to two specific groups Veterans on Patrol (VOP) and Patriots for America (PFA) for their work to capture migrants even though they don’t have the legal authority to do so.
The escalation in the efforts of these paramilitary groups is why it is important for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice to take more federal actions against the two groups.