Fernando Rivera Jr., center, looks at a neighbor's pet raccoon jumping up onto his son Fernando Rivera III's rifle as a group of patriots patrolling in a UTV look on outside their home in Brownsville, Texas, Sept. 2, 2014 (published Sept. 11, 2014).
According to Rivera Jr, there is an open gate in the U.S.-Mexico border fence which immigrants would stroll through and onto the Rivera's property. The "Patriots" are a heavily armed group who patrol the U.S. border with Mexico, trying to deter immigrants from crossing the border illegally. The group, who portray themselves as defending the American way, use a strong display of force to intimidate anyone from making the crossing from Mexico into Texas. To critics, they are vigilantes spoiling for a fight. To the immigrants, they are another barrier to entry and to the U.S. Border Patrol, groups like this can either be a nuisance interfering with their operations or an aide in spotting migrants illegally trying to enter the country.