Nativism Watch

CIS paradoxically seeks volunteer border guards to counter border vigilantes

Imagine2050 Staff • May 01, 2017
Image source: Getty Images
Image source: Getty Images

The anti-immigrant think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) wants citizen volunteers to help expand the Border Patrol’s mass detention and deportation force.

CIS, also known as the “false-fact think tank,” today published a new paper by fellow Joseph Kolb that recommended establishing a citizen auxiliary to assist Border Patrol.

According to Kolb, the proposal contradicts a “general consensus” among Border Patrol officials, including the nativist-friendly National Border Patrol Council, that volunteers “should not be put in the field.” Kolb later notes that he “disagrees with this position on a variety of levels.”

“With the appropriate training and guidelines, auxiliary personnel can be an additional body in a patrol vehicle typically manned by only one agent,” Kolb writes. “This second person can be an extra set of eyes and ears as well as assist when multiple apprehensions occur simultaneously rather than leaving one agent alone waiting for backup. This can enhance agent safety.”

“Among the duties auxiliary personnel can perform are transportation, booking and processing, hospital watch, electronic video and movement sensor monitoring, dispatch, and vehicle and fence maintenance,” Kolb recommends. Trusting volunteers to carry out such duties, including monitoring individuals in Border Patrol custody and/or detention centers is extremely concerning given the instances of abuse and dire lack of accountability within the agency.

Strangely, Kolb also believes that citizen volunteers would be a mitigating force against border vigilante Minutemen and militia groups lawlessly patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border. Rather, border vigilantes would likely be the first people to sign up for Kolb’s proposed volunteer force, bringing their anti-immigrant motivations with them. Granting these extremists access to Border Patrol resources would surely not moderate members of an extremist movement that has spawned notorious child murderers like Shawna Forde and neo-Nazi JT Ready. Such volunteers would be little more than government-sanctioned vigilantes.

CIS representatives have previously downplayed extremism within the border vigilante movement. Writing for National Review Online in 2014, CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian described the movement as “peaceful and hands-off.”

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