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Editor’s note: Today the Journal presents part two of a four-part series that introduces you to Border Patrol Agent Joe Romero and what he and his colleagues experienced during a normal shift last Monday as they patrolled the border from El Paso to Sunland Park, N.M. The series began Sunday and will continue next weekend.
SUNLAND PARK – They call themselves Patriots of the Constitution, New Mexico Ops and come from different corners of New Mexico to guard the border. Mostly, they kill time.
Morning - John - Horton - Commander - Group
One recent morning, John Horton, national commander for the group, stepped out of his trailer and greeted an approaching Border Patrol agent.
“Last night was really quiet,” Horton tells Border Patrol Agent Joe Romero. “We didn’t even hear a dog bark.”
Horton - Caravans - Way - Men - Border
But Horton warns that several “caravans” are on the way and will cross where he and his men are camped out near the border in the rugged desert terrain near Sunland Park.
In recent months, the El Paso sector, which includes all of New Mexico, has been dealing with a 430 percent increase in family migration. But February was a record-setting month for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which reported more than 76,000 border crossings along the entire U.S.-Mexico border – mostly parents with children and juveniles traveling on their own.
Groups - Spots - Antelope - Wells - New
While large groups have been crossing at remote spots like Antelope Wells in New Mexico’s Bootheel since December, many migrants are now choosing to cross in or near El Paso and Sunland Park.
As the number of migrants from Central America seeking asylum breaks records, Horton and a handful of volunteer members of the New Mexico branch of this Alabama-based militia also traveled to the border.
“We heard there was a caravan coming in, so we came down to help,” he said.
A Native American man who calls himself “Sergeant Lucky,” because he...
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