According to KRGV, a militia has selected a number of bridges along the Rio Grande Valley for a Sept. 20 demonstration during which they will physically block entry into the U.S. Law enforcement officials in Starr County are reportedly preparing for the possibility of violence associated with the protest.
“I’m not going to lie to you,” said Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal, “it’s going to make us nervous. We’re not used to seeing firearms being openly displayed.”
He explained that Texas law permits individuals to carry and display guns.
Villarreal further indicates that his community is not only unfamiliar with the militia planning to pay a visit to the border; it has no experience with such citizen activism at all.
“We’ve never dealt with militia here in Starr County,” he said. “We don’t know what their temperament is or their personality might be.”
In any case, he insisted that local authorities will be prepared for any eventuality.
“I’m 100 percent sure that with the National Guard, with DPS, with Border Patrol and local law enforcement, we’ll communicate and we’ll handle whatever comes,” he insisted.
As for the intention of the militia members, reports indicate they plan to stage a protest on unspecified international bridges – three such entry points are located in Starr County – in an effort to block traffic. Beyond that, Villarreal said there is little definitive information about the demonstration set for later this month.
“The unknown becomes an issue that we really got to prepare for,” he said, noting that any attempt to block traffic would constitute “a huge safety issue.”
Advertisement - story continues below
The protest, he explained, would affect far more than just potentially illegal border crossings.
“A port of entry is not just a port of entry for people,” he said, “it’s also a port of entry for commerce. There are hundreds of millions of dollars that transact at the ports of entry. If their intent is to cause a disruption at a port of entry, it’s not only a matter of people – it’s a matter of commerce as well.”