Border ‘Militia’ Gangs Threaten To Shut Down Traffic At International Bridges

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This week at Burnt Orange Report, we reported a case highlighting how Texas Republicans are becoming increasingly comfortable expressing their xenophobic views publicly, and running their entire campaigns on hate-mongering messages. Their views are becoming so extreme, that some members of the party are advocating for violence at the border as a solution to immigration.

This weekend, Republicans’ wishes might just come true as ‘militia’ gangs along the border have threaten officials they will block traffic coming in from Mexico at international bridges in Starr County. This, as means of protesting undocumented crossings. The gangs are planning to obstruct international commerce on Sept. 20.

Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal has expressed his concerns of these groups, stating their display of firearms makes him worry about other people’s safety. “I’m not going to lie to you; it’s going to make us nervous. We’re not used to seeing firearms being openly displayed,” he said.

Obstructing traffic at our international bridges undoubtedly affects international commerce transitioning through these ports of entry; and, consequently, affects not only Starr County, but our entire state that depends so heavily on such important business.

“A port of entry is not just a port of entry for people; it’s also a port of entry for commerce. There are hundreds of millions of dollars that transact at the ports of entry. If their intent is to cause a disruption at a port of entry, it’s not only a matter of people, it’s a matter of commerce as well,” said Villarreal.

According to facts shared by Congressional members of the Border Caucus last year, “98.5% of Texas exports go to Mexico.” Additionally, according to stats by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “463,132 jobs in Texas rely on trade with Mexico.”

Not only just important to Texas’ economy, Mexico also continues to be the United States’ most important trading partner: “In 2012, trade between the U.S. and Mexico totaled $472,933,986 billion — roughly $1.3 billion a day or $1 million per minute.” To paint a picture on just how crucial this trading partnership is, “U.S. exports to Mexico exceeded our exports to Brazil, Russia, India and China combined.”

What these domestic terrorist groups are planning to do is not only senseless, but reckless to our economy. As a native of South Texas, it infuriates me to know that these people — uninvited to our region — are planning to disrupt our people’s daily lives and potentially harm innocent civilians at the border. It is becoming increasingly clear that all these demonstrations against immigration stem from very deep xenophobic and racist views — otherwise, why would these gangs want to disrupt lawful, legal trading transactions between the U.S. and Mexico? It seems, then, to them, there is no difference between “legal” and “illegal.” Anything foreign to them must be stopped.

The last thing our state and country need is an international conflict with Mexico. My recommendation to these men: Get a job and quit trying to disrupt other people’s business.

Follow Omar on Twitter at @AraizaTX.

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About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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