The U.S. Border Patrol is not the same thing as the American Border Patrol. The U.S. Border Patrol is a federal law enforcement agency. The American Border Patrol is an anti-immigration activist group that owns a ranch near the Mexican border. In order to keep counter protesters off their lawn, organizers of this weekend's armed Tea Party rally staged the event at that private ranch in Hereford, Arizona. There were 400 attendees and about a dozen speakers including a charming radio host who brags on his Facebook page that he once was a "Heroin Addict-In between prison stints." From the New York Times:
"Instead of finding bugs in our beds, we're finding home invaders," said Tony Venuti, a Tucson radio host who attached a huge sign to the fence that told immigrants to head to Los Angeles, where they will be more welcome, and even offered directions for getting there.
Then, one of the more infamous anti-immigration demagogues, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, threatened to show off his famous climbing skills.
"If I had all the national TV here, I'd probably climb the fence to show you how easy it is."
Sorry America, no climbing demonstration for you. Sheriff Joe only climbs for national audiences.
As fringe-y and wacky as the armed rally at a private ranch seems, keep in mind that a Republican Senate hopeful, J.D. Hayworth, was a very proud attendee and speaker. An ad for the event headlined his Senate campaign website all weekend. We'll see if it helps him defeat Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the Republican Senate primary later this month. If it does... well, I'm sure he and President Tom Tancredo will get along swimmingly.