With tensions mounting at the US-Mexico border, US militias – groups of armed civilians – have been making headlines for their efforts to patrol the border and seize asylum-seekers. But who are these militia men, what do they believe and is what they’re doing legal?
What are US militia groups?
The term has a complex history.
The Militia Act of 1903 created the National Guard as a reserve for the Army, managed by each state with federal funding, and defined the “unorganised militia” as men between 17 and 45 years of age who were not part of the military or guard.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) defines current US militia groups as the armed subset of the anti-government movement.
These groups engage in military exercises and gun…