“I am being taxed to provide benefits for people who do not deserve them, benefits I cannot afford for myself and family.” - a militiaman speaking of illegal immigration
Encinal, Texas - Torrential rain poured from the heavens as Soldier 1 and Soldier 2, both of them Oathkeepers, fielded phone calls from a 24/7 hotline for militiamen seeking to answer a Call to Arms at this border outpost, a truck stop at the 39 mile marker, just north of Laredo.
Their mission: “Close down Laredo Crossing...” The Facebook proclamation was headed “ACTION ALERT,” and it went up live on computer screens nationwide on Wednesday evening.
It's axiomatic in Texas politics that when great periods of agitation begin over border disputes at the Rio Grande, war soon follows, whether the war is in Europe (1913), the interior of Mexico (1846), or America (1861-65) .
As pathfinders, the Oath Keepers are here to assist fellow citizen soldiers to find their way to this ultra-busy corner of the oil patch, where cross-border truck traffic keeps the highway hot, ordinary motel rooms go for $300 per night, and the world has come to a once-barren stretch of prairie dominated by mesquite and javelina, white tail and coyotes – and not much else.
It's a hot box of illegal border crossings, this area northwest of Laredo where people from Mexico wait for transportation to spirit them on the next leg of their journey. It's nothing new. It always was the kind of place where you saw locomotives stopped on sidetracks, the trains behind them brightly lit by Border Patrol searchlights as brown people ran through the brush in mad dashes for freedom.
Now they wait in the brush amid injection wells, brine ponds, mud yards, strings of pipe, drilling and makeover rigs.
The Oath Keepers, who are sworn to keep their original vow as members of the Armed Forces to protect the Constitution of the United States “against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” stepped in, answering a nationwide call to arms when the Texas Militia left in a huff earlier in the week and declared in Facebook statements that they are “washing their hands” of the border because Texas authorities won't let them do much more than housekeeping and hospitality tasks - fetching bottles of water, policing the grounds of trash and carrying messages - in their quest to keep undocumented aliens from making illegal border crossings.
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