A couple days ago, video footage emerged online of a large group of migrants who had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border being held at gunpoint by a right-wing militia group called the “United Constitutional Patriots.” The disturbing video was taken by one of the militia members and shows terrified families that included young children being ordered around by these racist vigilantes in the middle of the night while they waited for Border Patrol to arrive and detain them.
On Saturday, news broke that the leader of the United Constitutional Patriots, one Larry Mitchell Hopkins, was arrested by the FBI for the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition while having a felony record.
FBI arrests leader of private militia accused of detaining migrants on US border https://t.co/WMZi8isEuj
— Vox (@voxdotcom) April 21, 2019
The videos of the illegal detainment, which some are saying constitutes an act of kidnapping, were originally posted on the Facebook page of the militia itself. Once the ACLU caught wind of it, it wasn’t long before the videos went viral and Hopkins was in handcuffs.
There’s a lesson in here, kids. If you’re going to do something dangerous, probably illegal, and racist as hell, don’t post a video of yourself doing it on the internet.
BREAKING: We just sent a letter to the Governor and Attorney General asking them to investigate an armed vigilante group unlawfully detaining hundreds of migrants at the southern border: https://t.co/bvidHGfvsK pic.twitter.com/ISBOrgUM1D
— ACLU of New Mexico (@ACLUNM) April 18, 2019
Unfortunately, militia activity at the Southern border has been increasing ever since Donald Trump turned the issue of migration across this border into a racist dog whistle that got all the white supremacists and general racists in the country running to his lap. According to a spokesperson for the United Constitutional Patriots, they have detained/kidnapped over 5,600 migrants in the last two months alone. They say they’re only doing it to help the U.S. Border Patrol, which has already asked the public nicely not to do that.
When Border Patrol thinks what you’re doing is wrong, it must be really, really wrong.
In response to this news, many people are glad that the leader of this quasi-legal terrorist force was arrested, but are still concerned about other factors, such as the fact that Facebook is still letting them have a page to live-stream their kidnappings.
So this militia leader was arrested by the FBI, but @facebook is still allowing his group to livestream.
Great platform. https://t.co/h7wwxKgwuL
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) April 20, 2019
Notice that he was NOT arrested for leading a band of brownshirts who kidnapped asylum seekers at gunpoint…
"F.B.I. Arrests Leader of Right-Wing Militia That Detained Migrants in New Mexico"https://t.co/7yA3gXY5IH
— Maximillian Alvarez (@maximillian_alv) April 21, 2019
FBI has arrested the leader of the white supremacist terror org that’s been hunting down Christian refugees to deny them their right to Asylum.
I wish media would stop calling the org “patriots” & start calling them the terrorists & fascists they are. https://t.co/aI4q8YGxgH
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) April 21, 2019
He claims to work with border patrol: That is not true.
He claims to be 5th SFG Vietnam Vet: Not true and stolen valor!
What is true: He's a convicted felon using a fake name and was arrested on weapons charges when the FBI learned his real identity.https://t.co/3U1TvprEV6
— Alternative NOAA (@altNOAA) April 21, 2019
Im happy to wake up and see that this guy is no longer playing cop with his group of bigoted vigilantes on American streets.https://t.co/qTE1JbxzEg
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) April 21, 2019
Arrested or simply escorted to the White House for a job interview?
— Integral (@IntegralAnswers) April 20, 2019
When militias send their people, they're not sending their best
They're sending people that have lots of problems
They're illegally carrying firearms. They're bringing hatred. They're racists. And none, I assure you, are good people
— Just Dave ⛏ ✭ (@El_Daverino) April 20, 2019
Good. My question is: did trump ok this? Order it? Why did border patrol go along with this?
— peaceful patriot (@shanenof4) April 20, 2019
A FELON! Ain’t that something!!! Not surprised!!! They don’t believe they have to follow the laws, I wonder why? Mmm ?
— Kimberly Tobias- Armstrong (@PRINZESKIM) April 21, 2019
Maybe he thought trump was talking to him and his ilk when he told border patrol to break the law
— boxtop (@iamboxtop) April 20, 2019
They're holding him in a cage down there for 'processing' right??? #comeonKarma
— Laura Ducolon (@LKDucolon1984) April 21, 2019
CBP must be brought to account for this as well. They should have arrested these men on the spot.
— jwbooth (@Jwbooth666) April 21, 2019
I'm envisioning a worst case scenario where he's turned into a cause célèbre and Trump ends up legitimizing the militia by giving Hopkins a pardon to play to his base.
— L. Rhodes (@upstreamism) April 20, 2019
Footage of the arrest. pic.twitter.com/Y1OIFfWG8n
— El Culo Blanco (@bettabomb) April 21, 2019
I’m afraid of what’s going to come out about what happened with these people in “custody”.
— Harry Allison (@harryallisonjr) April 21, 2019
One look at that guy and the stuff they advertise on Hannity all makes sense now.
— William Barr's Hype Man (@norgedane) April 20, 2019
Wasn't there a horror movie about this pic.twitter.com/uvfHuQnCHc
— Sweet_Twi**er_Handle (@thefrappemafia) April 20, 2019
Why do they always look like extras from the movie “Deliverance”
— Kimberly Chandler (@cozzmo73) April 21, 2019
CBP's denial of collusion with this group of nuttos sounds weak. The agency has a track record of deceit and illegal acts.
— Jack H (@nabatean92) April 20, 2019
— Sideline_Observer (@Chris79699884) April 21, 2019
I don’t understand why when it’s old white men they are called “militias” but anyone else they are called gangs.
— Trump Must Resign (@KeepingSunny) April 21, 2019
Sure you understand! It’s called racism.