On Thursday, non-profit organizations the Texas Civil Rights Project and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed a Texas Public Information Act request to receive all communications between Kinney County officials and the Patriots for America militia group.
This comes after the rural county approved a plan to deputize private citizens to work alongside law enforcement in policing migrants. Kinney County officials claim they haven’t received enough federal or state assistance so they’re taking matters into their own hands.
According to the request, TCRP and ACLU are requesting emails, text messages, and social media posts between both parties. And any other group or individual seeking to deter migrants along the southern border.
The Patriots for America made their first appearance in Kinney County on Oct. 18 where they were recognized by County Judge James “Tully” Shahan. According to reports, Judge Shahan told the militia group, “You’re preaching to the choir, and we appreciate you coming, and we appreciate you being here, and we’ll take your help.” Then suggested a meeting between county officials and the militia group.
Like Kinney County officials, President and founder of Patriots of America Samuel Hall called the increase of migrants “an invasion of this country” and has already recruited 100 men to help track down migrants who attempt to cross the border.
“This is a powder keg waiting to explode, and it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Hall said during the Kinney County commissioners meeting. “What we’ve seen is residents that are scared to death right now, and they don’t feel like they have support from the state.”
County officials have 10 days to respond to TCRP and ACLU of Texas public information requests. And according to the request, under TPIA provisions both organizations have the right to appeal if officials choose to withhold information. According to reports, Kinney County has detained more immigrants than any other county combined. And according to County Attorney Brent Smith most of the detainees are being accused of trespassing, a misdemeanor under Texas law.
Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.