Published: Sun, April 21, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

New Mexico County declares state of emergency amid immigration influx

New Mexico County declares state of emergency amid immigration influx

The state's attorney general, Hector Balderas, has also cautioned the group not to "attempt to exercise authority reserved for law enforcement".

FBI spokesman Frank Fisher told The Associated Press that Hopkins was in custody but said no additional information would be released until after Hopkins has an initial appearance Monday in federal court in Las Cruces.

It added that patrols "on the margins" of the law create risks for the safety of migrants.

The New Mexico American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is describing a far-right group as "armed fascist militia organization", that, according to the Guardian, detained a group of migrants at the U.S./Mexico border and coordinated with U.S. Border Patrol agents to have them arrested.

The militia members advocated for Trump's proposed border wall on the video streams and echoed the president's anti-migrant rhetoric, warning of an "invasion". The video shows men, women and children kneeling and sitting on the ground in a large group, squinting against what seems to be lights from the militia group.

The checkpoints had been closed temporarily after agents were relocated to assist migrant processing to prevent drugs and illegal immigrants from crossing the border, but that apparently hasn't stopped the influx of illegals who enter the state at non-designated crossings. In recent years, there have been numerous reports of an increase in paramilitary groups and xenophobic activists surveilling the border, working with United States agents and targeting undocumented people.

"If these people follow our verbal commands, we hold them until Border Patrol comes", Mr Benvie said, describing the interaction as a "citizen's arrest".

The UCP has not responded to the Guardian's requests for comment.

New Mexico's governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham said it was "completely unacceptable" that migrant families "might be menaced or threatened in any way, shape or form when they arrive at our border".

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement early Friday it "does not endorse or condone private groups or organizations that take enforcement matters into their own hands".

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