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Linda Vickers says she knew the problem was getting worse the day 10 immigrants walked within 30 feet of her young daughters who were picking flowers on their ranch south of Falfurrias.

Now there are other men and women walking and driving around on her ranch and 50,000 other area ranches.

The Texas Border Volunteers was born out of the Minuteman Project seven years ago. Vickers and her husband, Dr. Mike Vickers, formed the group as a way to help Border Patrol catch those sneaking around the border checkpoint -- just a couple of miles from their home.

Now any routine watch by the Texas Border Volunteers may mean 20 to 35 men and women keeping a close eye out for people trying to sneak through.

During a 10-day watch in March, TBV reported more than 240 immigrants to Border Patrol. Out of that number, 186 were apprehended.

KENS 5 wanted to find out who these men and women were and what drives them to want to do this. They allowed Barry Davis to go along on two patrols.

The first was in the middle of the day, and was really more of a tour of the land they would be watching that night. But shortly into that tour we ran across fresh tracks from at least three different groups of people, one of which had anywhere from 10 to 20 people.

It had rained just a couple of hours before that daylight tour, making it easy to see the fresh tracks in the sandy soil.

Mike Sims, of San Antonio, belongs to the group. He said as they patrol the huge ranches, on their four-wheelers, they are constantly looking down for tracks and across the horizon.

The day patrol didn't report any immigrants, so the TBV mustered for a night patrol. Each team is sent out, mostly in pairs, armed with night vision scopes and infrared cameras. The equipment is the same stuff U.S. military troops use. Most of it has been bought with funds volunteers and supporters donated to the cause. The same for some four-wheelers and side-by-side vehicles.

It was eerily quiet as they sat in the darkness, except for the occasional night bird singing or insects buzzing. It was cool and misting, which caused some difficulties with the equipment's abilities to see clearly. But it didn't really matter; no one was spotted.

The TBV called it quits around midnight and vowed to be back out there the next night. In fact, TBV went out the next two nights and reported 86 immigrants to Border Patrol.

They said they will continue their watches until there is no more need to do so.

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