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Border Patrol Issues Warning About Private Militias

The U.S. Border Patrol is circulating an issue paper warning agents about private militias patrolling the Mexican border.

Concerns were raised after a recent incident in Mission, Texas, in which armed men in fatigues showed up while agents were rounding up immigrants hiding in and around a canal near the Rio Grande.

The Border Patrol says agents assumed the men were part of a Texas Department of Public Safety tactical unit. They later learned the men belonged to the Texas Militia, whose members dress like a SWAT team and carry weapons, but have no law-enforcement training or authority of any kind.

The incident ended peacefully, but officials say it’s easy to imagine a deadlier outcome as the armed militias patrol the border, searching for people entering illegally.

Updated 8/18/14 at 11:22 a.m.