‘Armed Patriots’: The Private Citizens Out to Secure the U.S. Border

Lisa Maria Garza, Yahoo! News, September 10, 2014

With binoculars in hand, an assault rifle slung over his chest and a Glock pistol on his hip, a man named Will scans the banks of the Rio Grande looking for anyone trying to cross from Mexico into Texas.

Will is a member of the Patriots, a group of heavily armed private citizens who use displays of force to intimidate people attempting to cross the border illegally. Since early summer the Patriots have patrolled an area near Brownsville, Texas.

“If you spot them and shine your light on them, that lets them know that you’re there,” said the 25-year-old construction worker from Indiana who flew to Texas for a stint with the Patriots. “Nine times out of 10, they’re not going to come over.

“Even if they are going to try to cross again, we’re still making it harder for them, and that’s the reason we’re here.”

The Patriots Information Hotline, a networking call center, estimates that 22 groups of “armed patriots” have sprung up along the border from Texas to California this year.

With names like Patriots and Citizen Defenders, the groups often set up camp on private land along the border at a property owner’s invitation. Expenses are generally paid by members, though some funds come from like-minded donors.

To critics, they are militias–vigilantes spoiling for a fight. For would-be migrants, they are another barrier to entry. For the U.S. Border Patrol, they can be either a nuisance or a help in spotting people trying to enter the country illegally.

The groups insist that their presence is unrelated to the tens of thousands of children from Central America who flooded across the border with Mexico earlier this year. Law enforcement officials say an increase in people taking part in citizen patrols in border states coincided with the attention being paid to the issue of unaccompanied minors this year.

Despite an aversion to the media, the Patriots opened their Brownsville camp to Reuters this month for an exclusive visit, saying their efforts are essential because the U.S. government has failed to secure the border.


The Patriots operate on 21 acres of land owned by Rusty Monsees, whose family has had a ranch on the border since the 1940s. They patrol in body armor, riding all-terrain vehicles that drown out the sound of cicadas at night.

Monsees, 66, said “illegals” have poisoned his dogs and sprayed his yellow house with bullets, but he refuses to leave.

“If they leave, I’m dead,” he said.

The Patriots carry plastic handcuffs to detain border crossers and communications equipment to inform Border Patrol.

The only live fire they have seen has come from a Border Patrol agent who fired at them.

Border Patrol said the agent saw an armed man and thought he was part of a group of migrants suspected of illegally crossing the Rio Grande. Several shots were fired at the Patriot, who immediately dropped his weapon and was not injured.


Many in Brownsville live in the shadow of an 18-foot-high rust-colored steel barrier that stretches hundreds of miles along the border. A few, including Fernando Rivera Jr., have called on groups like the Patriots to keep an eye on their properties.

“Whoever says there’s not a problem by the border wall, they don’t live out here,” he said, adding that his son walks around the backyard with a shotgun slung over his back to protect the family from what he says are criminals coming across the border.

In addition to the Monsees property, the Patriots monitor homes in the area at the request of owners like Rivera, who said it can take up to 45 minutes for a county sheriff to arrive after a call for help.

“Now, when they’re on patrol, it’s actually peaceful,” he said. “The dogs don’t bark as much. I can actually get some sleep.”

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  • DaveMed

    Each deserving of a medal and public recognition.

  • JP Rushton

    The government doesn’t care about your house getting shot at or your dogs dying.

    The plan is to replace you, they don’t care what happens to you. But don’t worry, I’m sure the feds will be there any minute to arrest these guys for something, anything and get them to leave.

    • Periapsis

      Indeed, the government will destroy our homes, kill our dogs, then kill us when it intercedes on the side of the brown invaders at the behest of the hostile aliens ruling the nation.

      • Jack Whistler

        That’s why any belief that our problems can be resolved peacefully is nothing but fantasy.

  • This will be the next thing Holder looks into.

  • Kenneth Arrow

    But many Europeans do think Americans are self-obsessed.

    I liked to watch Richard Kimble in TV Series The Fugitive. It mostly depicts ordinary Americans in small towns and rural areas. Series has a special vibe to it and a high, almost naive standard of morality. I still refuse to model my view of Americans by modern TV Shows (I stopped watching them long time ago anyway). This article clearly shows that American exceptionalism is still kicking. Hold on tight!

    • The Fugitive is my favorite series of all time, but I won’t focus on that. The producer, Quinn Martin, was a liberal Hollywood tribe member who pushed pro-migrant views in some episodes. But those were different times than these, so it doesn’t bother me. He also produced The Invaders, the FBI, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, and a bunch more from TV’s golden age.

      • mobilebay

        Speaking of the golden age of TV, I wonder why the late Joan Rivers was touted as the top gun of female comedians, when Lucy clearly led the way and was by far the funniest and all the while using good, clean humor.

  • “Now, when they’re on patrol, it’s actually peaceful,” he said. “The dogs don’t bark as much. I can actually get some sleep.”

    That’s what we mean by “effective local activism.” People like uninterrupted sleep.

    The groups insist that their presence is unrelated to the tens of thousands of children from Central America who flooded across the border with Mexico earlier this year.

    Correct. It’s not as if if the kiddo surge wasn’t the first of these problems.

    They patrol in body armor, riding all-terrain vehicles that drown out the sound of cicadas at night.

    Those must be some pretty loud ATVs. You know what I mean if you’ve ever been serenaded by a free concert of the St. Louis Cicada Philharmonic Orchestra during summer evenings that are hot and humid.

    Now, the one problem for both public and private efforts to patrol the border area and to control the border is that we effectively have what I call a worldwide adjustment act. After Castro took power in Cuba and we couldn’t get rid of him, we passed something called the Cuban Adjustment Act, meaning that any Cuban who could get his feet on American soil had instant legal status. We don’t yet have a worldwide adjustment act formally, however, the way immigration law is enforced (or rather, not enforced), the zillion hurdles in the deportation process. and the 87 million different ways an alien can get the courts to give him some sort of legal status, refugee or otherwise, means that just about anyone in the world who sets toe on American soil isn’t going to be physically deported.

  • Periapsis

    Set up belts of Goalkeepers along the border, and set them to destroy anything that moves on the other side of the Mexican border. The illegals will not be able to flood into our land freely anymore, and Goalkeeper shoots down helicopters and will destroy vehicles too. Then we can tell Mexico City to go pound sand.

  • dd121

    Our elected officials won’t enforce the immigration laws for cynical political reasons. That looks like a crack in the foundation. When law enforcement breaks down what choice do people have but to take the law into their own hands?

  • Chip Carver

    Just the opening the feds need to set up a false flag. As in false flag attack. As in “racists” attacking humble people only looking to better their lives, and bring their sorely needed talents to America. Talents like the desire to have child after child because Tio Sam will provide a larger and larger check as more and more cubs fill the house. Talents like quickly being able to form gangs, that behavior based in the jungle/tribal mentalities these folks have. The talent for impulsive murder, the thirst for sex with underage girls. The ability to apply graffiti on any surface. The talent for having incredibly high self esteem in school while possessing little to no ability to be educated beyond 4th grade. The list of gifts they bring to America is endless.

  • When I had my old blog back in 2005 on blogspot I posted a feature story on a German Shepherd dog named Star and her 8 or 9 pups who patrolled the border with one of these groups.

    They need to use more dogs. Mexicans are afraid of police dogs. But what a disgrace that private citizens have to do the job that Obama is supposed to be doing.

    • SentryattheGate

      And Bush didn’t do his job either. Remember when the Minutemen, American volunteers, patrolled the border in the 90’s, and beyond. They even built their own drones with cameras, which they used to survey the border, then call into Border Patrol with the locations of invaders. The gov’t had no will to do that! Bush called them “vigilantes”. http://americanpatrol.com/index.html

  • As an aside, when you hear Obama or some high level Democrat say that “the border is more secure than ever,” what they mean is that more people receive paychecks from the U.S. Border Patrol than ever. Any relationship between that and the border actually being secure is purely a coinicdence.

  • guest

    Armed Patriot citizens doing the job that the border guards will not. Definitely have to respect that.

    • Ringo Lennon

      They have every right to defend their country as to type of people they want here. This is supposed to be a white country.

  • Jo

    *****Eleven Muslims on the government’s ‘WANTED’ list caught crossing the southern border with those ‘helpless’ (armed with weapons) Central American children. Obama’s ‘babysitters’ quickly whisked them away destroying their records…so Americans wouldn’t know about them, of course. Probably planted in one of the luxury hotels with huge swimming pools and deluxe breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, probably, in your city or town.

    *****In addition, Chinese are supplying weapons to drug cartel camps along the Mexican border.

    Texas Guard forbidden to carry weapons. Government silences border agents, Texas Guard, and militia from speaking about it. Border Patrol agents secretly ask ranchers and militia to tell Americans. The reason for the video below.

    Texas rancher, Rusty, (cancer, 2 years to live, still fighting the invasion) and combat Marine veteran militia member, Rob, from Indiana, discuss the out of control border situation with a member of Oathkeepers Militia. The Marine has six children and owns two businesses, goes to Texas to guard the border. I’m sure he has competent, trustworthy Whites taking care of his businesses and a super White wife caring for the children.

    1 hour 48 minutes. Worth listening.

    Pass around.


  • MBlanc46

    More power to them. I hope that they manage to stay just on this side of the law.

    • Of course they have to stay on this side of the law 100% of the time. All the while they’re watching illegal aliens one after another run on in.

      Welcome to our anarcho-tyrannical life in the proposition nation, circa 2014.

    • 1stworlder

      Why in the world would a border agent start unprovoked shooting at a white guy on private property? If they acted like that agent it would be in the news.

  • William Hinkle

    Wondering how many of these ‘Patriots’ were negroes, queers, antis or jew$? Probably not one….

  • Leon NJ

    France24 news did a small segment on illegals here in the US and one women who came in 20 years ago just got her deportation notice from the court. The kicker is that she spoke no English at all when she was interviewed. 20 years!

    • M.

      I saw that one. She still managed to leave a couple of Indio sons of her in the U.S. though.

    • SentryattheGate

      While working in a public school in the 2000’s, there was suddenly a bunch of Hispanic kids in the 4-5th grade, who couldn’t speak English. I assumed they just arrived in the US, but found out that they were raised here but their parents had demanded they be educated in Spanish ONLY. Then the school hired tutors to teach them English, at $10/hr. for one-on-one instruction c/o of the US taxpayer!!!!

  • Epiphany Strachan

    I knew there had to be some men with b*lls out there! Pardon my language;)

  • Raydonn

    ‘We the people’, inspiring…………

  • mac Grath

    The Patriots have a legal right to make a citizen arrest if law breaking is suspected and to detain that person until police or border patrol arrive. Yep, just doin the job our corrupt government wont do.

  • William Hinkle

    My truthful and insightful comment was removed LOL!!!