Posted: Jul 8, 2014 6:23 PM
Updated: Jul 8, 2014 6:23 PM
EDINBURG - Hidalgo County's interim sheriff said he does not need militias to help patrol the region.
Interim Sheriff Jose Eduardo Guerra said militias from Texas and other parts of the country have contacted him. He said they offered to help deal with influx of illegal immigrants.
Guerra said he has gotten letters from anti-government organizations.
Guerra said the militias' growing interest in the region is due to the increased national attention on the surge in illegal immigration.
The interim sheriff said the surge in illegal immigration doesn't pose a threat to public safety.
"Since this whole influx of unaccompanied minors and the family units has drawn so much media attention, I think the message that's getting out there is that we're having this, an invasion of people coming into this country and that's absolutely not true," Guerra said.
The interim sheriff said he doesn't need or want the militias' services.
"I'm concerned that we have people that are not familiar with our area. We have a predominately Hispanic culture here in this county. We have this group of people coming down here with firearms and accidents happen," he said.
Guerra said there have been reports of incidents involving militias in others states. He said they caused more harm than good.
"They have been involved with assaults in shootings, so we don't need that. We don't need that here. We don't need them, bottom line, we don't need them," the interim sheriff said.
Guerra said the militias should reach out to their legislators.
"If they really want to make a difference I would suggest to them that they contact their representatives, both their senators and their representatives in Congressman and have them move toward immigration reform," Guerra said.
Guerra said he doesn't expect any problems as a result of the surge in illegal immigration in the region.
Guerra says that, unfortunately, he doesn't have the authority to keep private owners from allowing militia groups onto their properties.