The Border Patrol appeared unconcerned when a border militia carrying AR-15s decorated with Punisher skulls captured hundreds of immigrants. https://t.co/VgAxhAr6Ja— The Intercept (@theintercept) April 23, 2019
Recently, hundreds of foreign migrants were basically kidnapped on American soil by an armed militia and they basically maintained that they were helping out Border Patrol. They were not authorized or deputized in any official way to engage in detention activity, and it's a bit charitable to call what they did "detention" rather than "kidnapping" for that reason--the shift in meaning between legal and illegal activity, in rather the way being on this side of the border might be seen as unauthorized and illegal and take on a different status. Definitions can be strange things, creating a reality by means of words alone.
But this isn't a philosophical post, but rather a blog post about the tacit and unofficial authority that flows from unstable situations--the kind that seems to have unofficially deputized an armed group of racists and gun-lovers and right-wing conspiracy theorists to handle an already distressed population. Because it appears that this militia, like several others that have situated themselves along the border, have sort of contracted themselves to Border Patrol to catch actual human beings. This should actually strike us as really radical that armed vigilantes are patrolling for illegal border crossing, which in legal terms is a misdemeanor, but there's a long history of this, but the existence of militias has skyrocketed of late and seems more open to working with open White Supremacists. I've noted recently that President Trump's open grouse about what US troops stationed at the border (because of the intermittently-appearing national crisis or caravans and all that) might or might not be able to do, might be implicitly taken as a solicitation to civilian freelancers. Rather than creating a secure structure that empowers CPB and defines the roles of DHS and any border-stationed military personnel so that their roles and engagement with border crossers are clearer--confusion seems to have been sown, rather than "law and order".
It would be one thing if there was an kind of rote "community-policing" aspect to this engagement, of the Town Watch variety, where unarmed citizens reported without engaging, leaving the actual work of enforcement to professionals. I'm not great fan of DHS' history with respects to migrant detention policy--but it definitely is a grade better than "kidnapped by the sort of weirdo that maintains they have trained to kill Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros, because those are really not sane things."
Yep. Training to kill Barack "Jade Helm" Obama, Hillary "Benghazi" Clinton, and George "basically all the things because (((billionaire)))" Soros, all of whom were also recently targeted by big old major Trump fan Cesar Sayoc? Wow--however do such insanities happen (other than the insanities pushed by Trump and RW media)?
But it also happens that hardcore conservative politicians even do gather in these weird corners to build their support base, like administering a kind of fake deputation to III%'s. They try to legitimize the crazy, instead of trying to exorcize it.
This is a horrible thing. It is lawlessness, and makes everyone less safe. It is the activity of people whose definition of safe is not normal--it is a definition of safe where bullies surround everything, and call the situation safe. Things stand to go horrifically wrong.
Trump's support of this scenario is not Constitutional, nor is much of what he is about.