As the surge of illegal aliens continues unabated, all eyes seem to be on Texas, but one border county, in particular, is having an especially difficult time. Kinney County is fending off an invasion and has started coordinating with militias in hopes that they can help get things under control.
In April, thousands of illegal aliens had invaded Kinney County, and they, along with four other counties, declared a Local State of Disaster. County Sheriff Brad Coe said his six full-time deputies could not keep up.
Coe cited human smuggler pursuits, property damage to residences and ranches, vehicles being stolen, and missing livestock – having been stolen, or escaping through fencing that the illegals cut to clear their path. Families no longer feel safe on their own property.
Kinney County is 1,360 square miles and it shares 16 miles of international border with Mexico. It also sits between Valverde County where Del Rio sits, and Maverick County which includes Eagle Pass, both busy spots for illegal border crossings.
In August, Galveston County sent some deputies to assist, but they are still overwhelmed.
Earlier this month, Sheriff Coe requested Governor Greg Abbott deploy 2,000 state military personnel to the county, but he is not expecting any, although 1,500 National Guard members were sent to Kinney’s neighboring counties. That left Sheriff Coe with six deputies to cover the increasing amount of illegal activity going on in his jurisdiction.
Enter the militia. For two weeks now, Samuel Hall, president of the militia group Patriots for America (PFA), has been in Brackettville where the county sheriff’s office is located. He is spearheading a coordinated effort between Sheriff Coe and volunteer militia members from his group and others, who are coming from many states.
In a phone call, Hall told Citizen Stringer that he is on track to have between 80 and 100 men in the area by Sunday.
He said he has had an overwhelming response to the call for help, but it takes time to do it the right way, and “they can’t afford not to do it the right way.” For starters, there is a questionnaire and application that interested members must fill out.
Hall has been very specific about the kind of people they need – no hotheads or itchy fingers. “We’re not here to start a fight or beat our chest, or hurt anyone…we’re here to make a difference for that county. They need help,” he said. “We’re trying to do all the right things according to the sheriff’s wishes and the county’s wishes.”
He called the current surge of illegal immigrants “chaos.” “Look at this from a 5,000 foot view; you have the lack of infrastructure, the surge of illegal immigrants – some of them peaceful, some of them not – some of them very dangerous.”
According to Hall, the majority of illegals they are seeing are males, “about 20 to 35, or 40 years old,” but there are women and children as well.
“There’s a lot of eyes on this border right now; A lot of eyes, nationally and internationally. Everybody seems to be waiting for something to happen, or someone to mess up. And we have to be just absolutely careful that we’re being very good stewards of this situation that God has entrusted us with, and that the county’s entrusted us with as well,” he said.
They try to help out wherever the high traffic areas are, and right now, they are not permitted to detain anyone. The best they can do is “disrupt and frustrate – keep them busy until we can get the county there.”
“If the sheriff decides to deputize myself or my men, then at that point, we can make an arrest,” Hall said.
There is a good possibility that Hall and at least some militia members may be deputized. On October 18, The Kinney County Commissioners approved a plan granting Coe the authority to deputize a maximum of ten men – for now.
The men must be qualified, such as former military or peace officers, will be fully vetted, and must pass an in-depth criminal background check. Once chosen, they will receive training and will spend time with county deputies.
Hall said the county has literally been abandoned by both federal and state governments and “the only thing left to do is organize and to peacefully take matters into their own hands.”
When asked how he got involved, Hall said there was a call to action put out by a resident who contacted one of his members. The resident said it was a desperate situation and they needed help. So, Hall told his wife, “I’m leaving in 24 hours. I’m going to a terrible area and I don’t know when I’m coming back.”
Within 24 hours he and his fellow PFA member had packed up and headed down to Kinney County. Once there, they met with their liaison and the sheriff.
He said they have information that another large group is headed to the border, but Hall says it won’t be like the massive group of Haitians that showed up in Del Rio last month. If true, he said they will be hitting different points along the border and in groups of 500-1,000, possibly 1,500. If that’s true, Kinney County will be as prepared as possible.
In the past several months, more than 1,200 illegal aliens have been arrested for trespassing on private property in Kinney County. Arresting them is one thing. Once they actually have them in custody, the county has issues with prison space.
Wilson County News says Kinney County “is far and away the Lone Star leader in jailing migrants,” but “officials estimate they’ve stopped less than 5 percent of aliens who have passed through the rural county with a population of 3,600.”
Hall says donating to PFA would be of tremendous help. Any member of the militia serving in Kinney County is doing so on a volunteer basis. They are taking time away from their jobs and families, for various amounts of time.
He stressed that all funds go straight to the mission and provide things like lodging, food, supplies and equipment. He said some residents have opened up their homes to them, or are allowing them to stay in RVs, but now they are talking about a larger group. According to their website, PFA is in the process of becoming a 508c1a non-profit.
Donations can be sent via their CashApp: $SamuelPFA, Venmo: @SamuelPFA, or GiveSendGo accounts.
If you’re interested in helping PFA down in Kinney County, or would like further information, you can email one of the following:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Hall also said the power of prayers will help. “Anybody can pray – it’s free and the government doesn’t tax it. If they can take a minute out of their day and pray for us, that God would have his hands on this county, on these residents, and he gives us divine wisdom and discernment to make the right decisions for the state. That would be much appreciated as well.”