Larry Mitchell Hopkins, the leader of the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), was recently arrested by the FBI just days after video was released showing the group holding migrants near the U.S border against their will.
Hopkins was arrested in New Mexico on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. In 2017, the FBI discovered weapons at Hopkins’s residence after the agency received a tip about “alleged militia extremist activity” connected to Hopkin. This incident led to Hopkin’s current arrest. The U.S. attorney’s office has yet to comment on why there was such a long delay in charging Hopkins for firearms.
The UCP is just one of many militias who have started patrolling the U.S. border to “assist” with the recent surge in caravans of Central American migrants. Video of the group showed members forcing a large group of migrants, including several children, to sit on the ground huddled together in the cold of night until border patrol arrived.
According to the FBI, it received information that Hopkins had “allegedly made the statement that the United Constitutional Patriots were training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama."
Although the group continues to say that its actions are legal, Sunland Park Police Chief Javier Guerra said he explicitly informed the group that they are not.
In a letter to the state’s governor, the New Mexico chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said, “We cannot allow racist and armed vigilantes to kidnap and detain people seeking asylum. We urge you to immediately investigate this atrocious and unlawful conduct.”
Speak to an Immigration Lawyer Today
Due to President Trump’s charged rhetoric regarding immigration, militia groups like the UCP feel emboldened to take immigration policy into their own hands. Because these groups will assert they are “upholding the Constitution of The United States of America,” it is important to remember that their actions are considered illegal by law enforcement.