Patrol groups are danger prone

In San Diego, the organizer of an event intended to sign-up and train members of an anti-illegal immigration group, said he may take his group underground after a confrontation with protestors.

Andy Ramirez runs the group “Friends of the Border Patrol,” and according to a local news station, wants to stop immigrant smugglers and drug runners. He told the Union-Tribune newspaper that he had trained 125 people, 30 to 40 of whom had conducted secret patrols this summer.

According to the station, Ramirez said, “We’re not scared. If it means putting our people out there quietly, then that’s how we do it.”

The group is part of a growing trend of civilians patrolling the U.S. border with Mexico. The most popular of these groups, the Minutemen, has drawn criticism from President Bush as being vigilantes.

The San Francisco Chronicle said, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger supports the group.

“It’s no different than if you have a neighborhood watch,” Schwarzenegger said.

The problem with citizen law enforcement is that once it has started, where do we draw the line for it to stop?

If any group of citizens can organize and police their own interests it is conferring upon them a dangerously high level of authority.

The security of our borders is an important issue the government must address. Elected and appointed officials should deal with our security, not citizen groups, no matter how good their intentions are.