The United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) are a militia organization against illegal immigration along the U.S. southern border. The group’s leader, Larry Mitchell Hopkins, has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the border town of Sunland Park, New Mexico, and will appear in federal court on charges of firearms possession by a felon.
This is the first altercation between law enforcement and the several militias attempting to fill gaps for an overwhelmed U.S. Border Patrol. Members of the UCP have detained illegal immigrants and then signaled for assistance from the government agency; not one incident has resulted in a firearms discharge or bodily harm. In fact, the group is responsible for Border Patrol agents’ apprehension of hundreds of illegal crossers. Hopkins has a 2006 conviction for impersonating an officer, making his current firearm possession enough to warrant an arrest by the federal government.
New Mexico’s Attorney General Hector Balderas, a Democrat, was quick to label Hopkins a vigilante:
“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families. Today’s arrest by the F.B.I. indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”
Not everyone agrees with Balderas. A spokesperson for UCP, Jim Benvie, says the group’s mission is only to observe activities at the border and assist a “stressed and overstrained Border Patrol.” He admits the group is legally armed “for their own protection” but claims they do not point the weapons at their detainees.
NM Reacts to Open Border Policies
As the de-facto leader of UCP, Hopkins was targeted by Balderas and other political operatives of controversial Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. The old adage, “Cut off the head – kill the snake,” may certainly be in play.
Grisham took office at midnight January 1, 2019, and implemented an extreme-left rocket docket, passing bills aimed at gun confiscation and registry, a shut down of the oil and gas industries, and liberal abortion policies.
But what motivated groups like the UCP was the governor’s cavalier attitude toward the crisis facing her own citizens. Grisham called the idea of a border emergency a “charade” made up by President Donald Trump to rile up his base. She forced National Guard troops assisting Border Patrol out of the state altogether, incensing the electorate further.
Within weeks, constitutional New Mexicans were fighting back by forming political action committees, congregating in activist groups across every county, initializing an impeachment petition which has gathered more than 78,000 voting-citizen signatures, and now support for the armed militia keeping immigrants at bay.
Making an Example
Frankly, as Messiahs-for-causes go, Hopkins only has a smattering of fans on a YouTube channel, and a few accolades from QAnon. He is currently not much of a danger to anyone, but he may emerge as an enduring icon because of his arrest. It appears the FBI, and Grisham and company, have found the someone they need to hang in the public square to deter the masses from an absolute citizen uprising.
She forced National Guard troops assisting Border Patrol out of the state altogether.
Stay tuned for an update after Hopkins appears in court.