Three scientists who were studying bats in a cave near the U.S.-Mexico border in southern Arizona were confronted by heavily armed militiamen who mistook them for illegal border-crossers or smugglers. [...] The Arizona researchers reportedly told a sheriff's deputy they were walking back to their campsite on Aug. 23 when a group of men who later identified themselves as a militia group shone a spotlight and started shouting at them in Spanish, the Nogales International reported.
On a recent moonlit night, Border Patrol agents began rounding up eight immigrants hiding in and around a canal near the Rio Grande. A state trooper soon arrived to help. Then out of the darkness emerged seven more armed men in fatigues. Agents assumed the camouflaged crew that joined in pulling the immigrants from the canal's milky green waters was a tactical unit from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Only later did they learn that the men belonged to the Texas Militia, a group that dresses like a SWAT team and carries weapons but has no law-enforcement training or authority of any kind. The situation ended peacefully with the immigrants getting arrested and the Border Patrol advising the militia members "to properly and promptly" identify themselves anytime they encounter law-enforcement officers. But the episode was unsettling enough for the Border Patrol to circulate an "issue paper" warning other agents.
A border patrol agent fired several shots at an armed militia member while chasing a group of immigrants Friday near Brownsville, Texas. Border Patrol Spokesman Omar Zamora told the Associated Press that agents were pursuing a group of immigrants when one agent spotted a man holding a gun near the Rio Grande. The agent fired four shots but did not hit the man, Zamora said. The man then dropped his weapon and identified himself as a militia member.