ACLU calls for investigation of armed vigilantes detaining migrants in New Mexico
April 18, 2019 06:17 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Videos have surfaced online that show a vigilante group trying to privately detain hundreds of migrants near New Mexico's southern border.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is calling for an investigation of an armed vigilante militia group that is detaining migrants near Sunland Park. The ACLU of NM sent a letter to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Attorney General Hector Balderas on Friday.
The vigilante group describes themselves as the United Constitutional Patriots and they have already arrested nearly 300 people.
In the letter, the ACLU says that the actions of the United Constitutional Patriots "undermine the legitimate efforts of our state's law enforcement officials to keep New Mexico families safe and they erode community trust."
The videos show the militia members patrolling and impersonating U.S. border patrol agents.
"This is not a question about our immigrant laws, this isn't a question about border walls, this is a question about who enforces the law," said Peter Simonson, executive director of the ACLU of New Mexico. "Is it private armed citizens, or is it the proper local law enforcement?"
In a statement, Balderas said:
“My office has been informed that this week, an armed group has detained nearly 300 people near Sunland Park, New Mexico. These individuals should not attempt to exercise authority reserved for law enforcement.”
Updated: April 18, 2019 06:17 PM
Created: April 18, 2019 05:03 PM
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