SAN ANTONIO -- Private security bodyguards (PSBs) are a silent majority guarding Mexican nationals seeking asylum in San Antonio and other parts of South Texas.
The nationals come to the US legally, hoping to escape drug cartel threats. But once they get here they realize they're still not safe from the ruthless cartels.
They're vigilant about getting their drugs into the United States, said Philip Klein, a private security officer and CEO of Klein Investigations and Consultation. You either cooperate with them or you die.
It's a harsh reality our neighbors to the south deal with on a daily basis.
This is a war between a faction of Mexico and the United States, and anybody that tells you it's not is not telling you the truth, Klein said.
It's a war Philip Klein knows too well. Klein is one of about 100 personal protection officers licensed in Texas. In 1992 he formed his own agency.
Unfortunately there is a need for us, he said.
Klein said he's seen a high demand from Mexican nationals seeking asylum, some living in San Antonio.
One is a college student at a local college in San Antonio-Austin area, he said. Another one is a small business owner who just fled the country of Mexico and is trying to re-establish themselves, and a third is a medium sized business owner that his truckers have been approached by the cartels -- 'Either you cooperate with us or we come kill you.'
Most of his clients are successful business owners who have already had a close call with the drug cartels, he said.
Their family had either a kidnapping situation or they have been held by the cartels in some type of manner where they have had to pay the cartels off to operate, Klein said.
Klein calls his bodyguards the silent majority that is composed of military or ex-government agents. It's the reason why his new clients are paying top dollar for protection.
'We're gonna consider today's operation level a level one job, said Klein as was getting ready to show KENS 5 scenarios his men may be faced with.
Reporter Mayra Moreno geared up to get a small taste of their tactical training.
I'm gonna say gun, gun, gun and you are going to draw your weapon, Klein said.
Klein's men are sworn to protect their clients even if it means taking a bullet.
This is your bad guy, Klein said, pointing to a target at an outdoor shooting range. Your lead agent has your protectee behind you and you're trying to get away from the area.
And though they're trained to fire, using their weapon is a last resort.
They (cartels) will use any means they possibly can to further their cause or to make a statement to our government or their own government in Mexico, Klein said. We want to get our protectee out of (a dangerous situation) that's why they hire us.
The Mexican government officially declared war on the drug cartels in 2006 but it's a battle they've been fighting for decades.