(NBC) -- It speaks volumes about today’s political climate that anti-immigrant domestic terrorists have begun calling themselves border militias, holding unarmed people at gunpoint and feeling so emboldened that they post videos of their activities on social media, including Facebook and YouTube.
Luckily, the hubris of at least one group didn't impress law enforcement: On Saturday, the New Mexico attorney general’s office announced that Larry Hopkins, the leader of the United Constitutional Patriots (which had been detaining migrants at gunpoint near the U.S.-Mexico border) had been arrested by the FBI and charged with felony possession of firearms and ammunition.
So-called "militia" groups have long been active along the southern border: In the 1970s, for instance, the Ku Klux Klan announced that it was creating its own border patrol to combat illegal immigration. In the 2000s, the Minutemen patrolled the border in Arizona. In 2009, Brisenia Flores was shot and killed in her own home in Arizona by members of a border vigilante group called Minuteman American Defense; she was just nine years-old and an American citizen.
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