May 31, 2003

American Border Patrol in......

Photo from New York Times Magazine
June 1, 2003
Encounter - Homegrown Homeland Defense
By Austin Bunn -- June 1, 2003
A.B.P. and the other border-control groups have been called vigilantes and militias, but Spencer doesn't carry a gun. He prefers cameras, which may be a more effective weapon when it comes to his cause. At his suburban ranch house, he has 100 tapes of border crossings stacked on shelves. The day before we went out into the desert, I asked him to show me one, and he picked a grainy, hand-held sequence shot from the side of the road, watching what looked like a group of illegal immigrants ushered into a Border Patrol car. It was even less thrilling than it sounds. This footage of the capture doesn't excite Spencer nearly as much as everything that comes before: the search, the discovery and the ability to send the evidence into the sky and back into people's homes around the country. The A.B.P. Web site even allows you to set up an alert so that anytime Spencer finds an S.B.I. on film, you know. ''I want people, when they get up in the morning, to turn on their television and get their border report with their weather report,'' Spencer says. ''Like, 'Ladies and gentlemen, 3,000 people made it across the border last night, and here are videos of them crossing.' ''

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