"These types of practices can drive human rights abuses of
people who migrate or request asylum or refuge in the United
States," Mexico's Foreign Relations Ministry said in a
statement, referring to "militia groups" in New Mexico.
It added that patrols "on the margins" of the law create risks
for the safety of migrants.
On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New
Mexico condemned the United Constitutional Patriots, which
patrols the southern U.S. border in New Mexico, as a "fascist
militia organization" operating outside the law.
The group has posted videos showing members dressed in
camouflage and armed with semi-automatic rifles holding groups
of migrants, many Central American families seeking asylum,
until U.S. Border Patrol agents arrive.
The small volunteer group says it is helping the Border Patrol
deal with a surge in undocumented migrants at the southern
border. U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has
toughened various policies and put pressure on Mexico in an
attempt to discourage people from attempting to cross into the
United States illegally.
Along with the ACLU, New Mexico Democratic senators Martin
Heinrich and Tom Udall also called for an investigation into the
"Threatening innocent children and families fleeing violence and
seeking asylum is unacceptable and flies in the face of our
values as a state and a nation," they said in a joint statement
on Twitter on Friday.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Richard Chang)
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