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The presence of armed militia members working on their own in a region known for human smuggling, drug smuggling and illegal immigration has added one more variable to an already complex and tense situation on the U.S. border. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio warned of “chaos if you’re going to have private citizens dressed just like our deputies taking the law into their own hands.” J.P. Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, asked, “How do they identify themselves? Do they have badges? How do we know who they are? If they’re all just dressed in camos, it’s kind of hard to distinguish whether they’re law enforcement or not. There’s a lot of potential for stuff to go wrong.” Founder of the Patriots Information Hotline Barbie Rogers said at last count there were 13 such teams on the Texas border. She said the teams she knows keep sheriffs’ offices and the Border Patrol apprised of their activity.

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