Two ACLU lawyers wrote a letter to New Mexico authorities requesting an investigation of a right-wing militia group that has been detaining groups of migrant families at gunpoint before handing them over to Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Members of the group, the United Constitutional Patriots, this week posted video of about 200 migrants apparently stopped near the border. "We cannot allow racist and armed vigilantes to kidnap and detain people seeking asylum," the lawyers, María Martínez Sánchez and Kirsten Greer Love, said in the letter.
Hector Balderas, New Mexico's attorney general, said the group's members "should not attempt to exercise authority reserved for law enforcement." Jim Benvie, a spokesman for the group, said its actions were legal, like "a verbal citizen's arrest." Read more at The New York Times. Harold Maass
Trucks carrying fresh produce, furniture, electronics, raw materials, and other goods from Mexico to the U.S. are now waiting in line for hours or even days after the Trump administration reassigned hundreds of U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors to help manage the large number of migrant families seeking asylum in the U.S., The Associated Press reports. Businesses on both sides of the border are taking a hit.
"Truckers have been sleeping in their vehicles to hold spots in line in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas," AP says, a port of entry President Trump was reportedly only just talked out of closing entirely. One of the bridges to El Paso has been closed to truckers, two of 10 lanes at San Diego's only truck crossing are shut, and the crossings at Nogales, Arizona, and Santa Teresa, New Mexico, have also been ensnarled, AP reports. "Business leaders are starting to lose patience as they struggle to get products to American grocery stores, manufacturers, and construction sites."
U.S. Border Patrol said Tuesday that a record 53,000 family members were stopped at the border in March, most of them Central American parents and children turning themselves in and requesting asylum. Peter Weber