‘We’re not going to sit around and wait for the government anymore,’ says reputed Nazi who heads heavily armed group working to stop illegal immigration. Sheriff: I’m not inviting them. And in fact, I’d rather they not come.
Jason Ready is taking matters into his own hands, declaring war on what he calls “narco-terrorists” and keeping an eye out for illegal immigrants. So far, he said, his patrols have found only a few border crossers, who were given water and handed over to the Border Patrol. Once, they found a decaying body in a wash, and alerted the authorities.
But local law enforcement officials are worried, given that Mr. Ready’s group is heavily armed and identifies with the National Socialist Movement, an organization that believes that only non-Jewish, white heterosexual people should be American citizens and that everyone who is not white should leave the country — “peacefully or by force.”
“We’re not going to sit around and wait for the government anymore,” Mr. Ready said. “This is what our founding fathers did.”
An escalation of civilian border watches has taken root in Arizona in recent years. Various groups patrol the desert and report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol, and generally they have not caused problems.
But Mr. Ready, a 37-year-old ex-Marine, is different. He and his friends are outfitted with military fatigues, body armor and assault rifles. Mr. Ready takes offense at the term “neo-Nazi,” but admits he identifies with the National Socialist Movement.
“These are explicit Nazis,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. “These are people who wear swastikas on their sleeves.”
Mr. Ready is a reflection of the anger over illegal immigration in Arizona. Gov. Jan Brewer signed a new immigration law in April that requires police officers, while enforcing other laws, to question a person’s immigration status if officers have a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.
Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County said there had not been any episodes with the group in his jurisdiction. But he said he was concerned because an untrained group acting without the authority of the law could cause “extreme problems” and put itself and others in danger.
“I’m not inviting them. And in fact, I’d rather they not come,” Sheriff Babeu said. “Especially those who espouse hatred or bigotry such as his,” he said of Mr. Ready.
Mr. Ready said he is planning patrols throughout the summer.
“If they don’t want my people out there, then there’s an easy way to send us home: secure the border,” he said. “We’ll put our guns back on the shelf, and that’ll be the end of that.”
See Related: ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW ARCHIVE
SENTINEL FOUNDER PAT MURPHY