Militia patrolling Southern Arizona border - Tucson News Now

Militia patrolling Southern Arizona border

By Mark Stine - email

Tombstone, AZ (KOLD) - The Cochise County Militia is out patrolling the Southern Arizona desert this holiday weekend.

"Some people say the border is just too big, there's nothing we can do about it. That's wrong, that's crazy, we have to do something about it," Tom Fellows said.

Doing something is why these everyday citizens are standing in the desert this Fourth of July weekend.

Fellows explained, "I believe border security has been overlooked for too long."

Tom Fellows drove down to Tombstone from Prescott to join with members of the Cochise County Militia to keep lookout for immigrants crossing into Arizona illegally.

"It's pretty apparent the President and the government does not want to address this situation. So, as it was in the old days, it's going to be up to us to protect ourselves down here," Doug Evans told KOLD News 13.

Members of the militia say they picked one of the locations Northwest of Tombstone for their lookout position because the nearby ranch owner has had several run-ins with illegal immigrants coming onto his property.

Defending the border with binoculars and radios, the militia say they're out to be extra eyes for the U.S. Border Patrol.

Some members are armed with handguns, they say for their own protection.

If a member of the militia sees an illegal immigrant out in the desert, they're told to call Border Patrol immediately and tell them their location without confrontation.

Many times, Militia founder Bill Davis says, the immigrants stop and give up. "Nine times out of ten," he says, "they drop their packs and whatever they're carrying on the ground and sit down and quit."

The militia members say they aren't spending the holiday weekend in the desert to catch illegal immigrants, but to make a statement and keep border security in the national spotlight.

Tom Fellows says, "It's only addressed when it's politically expedient and then it falls off the radar. And unless someone comes down here to get in front of a camera every now and then to remind people there are problems here, people forget about it."

The Cochise County Militia will continue their patrols until Tuesday.

©2010 KOLD. All rights reserved.

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