Gibson said TBV volunteers have to abide by several rules before they can join. The first is that they have to have a concealed handgun license, another is that they can only carry handguns — absolutely no long guns, which could unnecessarily intimidate both migrants and landowners, and could result in a serious injury.
But the most important rule for volunteers is that they can never apprehend people themselves. Instead, they radio the location of suspected migrants to Border Patrol agents, and only approach the migrants if they appear to be in desperate need of help.
Gibson said some volunteers were once caught tying up migrants while they waited for Border Patrol to arrive — and those volunteers were dismissed from the group immediately.
“Incidents like that is what can cause not only us to get kicked off the properties, but for law-enforcement to say, ‘Screw you, we’re not working with you,” Gibson said.
The group takes their work seriously. And while Gibson said he personally holds no animosity towards migrants seeking a better life in the US, he and others in the group believe crossing the border unlawfully is a simple matter of right and wrong.
“The border’s a problem, and this is an opportunity for us to be proactive and do something that might help,” Gibson said. “Now, we’re not a silver bullet — we’re not solving everything — but it’s a chance for us to do something productive, helping out law enforcement, helping the land owners, and we take a lot of satisfaction in that.”