Self-appointed border-watchers are increasingly using remotely operated cameras to catch people sneaking into the country. The cameras represent a high-tech twist on the usual practice of sitting in lawn chairs or pickups close to the border.
"A lot of folks can't take the time to come down to the border," said TechnoPatriots co-founder Jon Healy, who lives in Arizona. "This gives them an opportunity to not only vent that passion but to have an effect on the outcome, to report to the Border Patrol."
The roughly 90 members of the TechnoPatriots live as far away as New York and as close as just a few miles from the border, conducting their surveillance using five wireless cameras set up by the organization in Arizona.
The TechnoPatriots claim that from the program's launch in November through late March, they made 160 sightings that led to 118 people getting caught. The Border Patrol could not confirm those numbers, saying it does not log the names or affiliations of tipsters.