Kingston Amendment on Minutemen Protection

Rep. Jack Kingston has proposed legislation that “would prevent any federal funds designated for the Department of Homeland Security (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol) to be used to tip off foreign governments about the location of organizations operating near the U.S./Mexico border, like the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. Tipping off foreign governments about the location of a civilian militia could threaten the safety of civilians.” So he says in an email send out to bloggers.


(Homeland Security Appropriations, 2007)

Page 62, after line 17, insert the following:

SEC. 537. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to provide a foreign government information relating to the activities of Non-Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System, as defined by DHS OIG—06—15, operating along the international border between Mexico and the states of California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, unless required by international treaty.

Since it’s unlikely we would be tipping off, say, the Swedish government about the activities of vigilante groups on the Mexican border, the vagueness of the amendment’s wording is odd. The real question is why we’re simultaneously tipping off the Mexicans and yet allowing these groups to operate as quasi-official Border Patrol agents.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. legion says:

    While I disagree strongly with the actions of the Minutemen, et al, I don’t see any justification to bar them from what they’re doing unless they actively violate the law or endanger legitimate DHS/Border Patrol activites.

    But you’re right that this is very oddly worded… it appears to only enjoin DHS from handing out info, but not any other agency

  2. I thought the border patrol justification for informing the Mexican government was that they were required to from a treaty. If so, this would change absolutely nothing.

    You obviously missed the memo that Mexico was about to be annexed by Venezuela, so the wording was meant to apply to either the current government or the new peoples republic government (this is snark for those a bit dense).

  3. DC Loser says:

    I guess the key here is what is the definition of “Non-Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System?” Somehow I’m not sure that means the Minuteman.

  4. LJD says:

    How about:

    Who is responsible for the tipping, and why do they still have a job?

  5. RA says:

    Its better to be all inclusive. Now we can prosecute any government official who wants to help the invaders from any country.