Vigilante Justice: To Be Or Not To Be? 🤔

Mark R Lambie / El Paso Times

Mark R Lambie / El Paso Times

United Constitutional Patriots

UCP is a self-organized and crowdfunded militia group that “assist[s] the various Patriot Citizen Soldiers around the U.S. who have answered the call to assist the Border Patrol along the U.S./Mexico Border.” They primarily operate in New Mexico (NM) and made headlines when they forcibly stopped over 200 migrants from crossing the border last week.

Leader Arrested

UCP is led by Larry Mitchell Hopkins, who was arrested by the FBI on a complaint that he is a felon in possession of firearms. UCP members are armed for “self defense” and Fox News reports that “they never point guns at migrants.”


The Blaze: Armed militia detains more than 300 illegal immigrants who crossed border into NM

Fox News: New Mexico government rips civilian militia for detaining 200 migrants at gunpoint near border

The right’s headlines emphasize the arrests of “illegal immigrants” and how the Democratic NM governor “rips” the militia. The right also makes sure to point out that military veterans and former police constitute the militia, securing the border.


NY Times: F.B.I. Arrests Leader of Right-Wing Militia That Detained Migrants in New Mexico

CNN: A militia group detained migrants at the border. The ACLU calls it kidnapping

The left uses strong language in its headlines, such as “kidnapping” and “banned” to describe the actions and ramifications to UCP, respectively. The right also makes sure to call UCP a “right-wing” militia while the right simply says “militia,” emphasizing the divide between the two sides on this topic.

Where's the common ground?

Both sides quoted border patrol in saying that it “does not endorse private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands.” However, the right seems to tacitly support the actions of groups such as UCP by framing the story from the militia’s point of view in securing the border while the left takes the stance that vigilante justice is illegal, full stop. For now, the laws on the books support the left’s viewpoint, but take a look at the following UCP video and make up your own mind about if you think more enforcement or compassion is needed at the border.




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