'Border Patrol' Boy Scouts not prepared for controversy - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

'Border Patrol' Boy Scouts not prepared for controversy

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(CBS 8) - A Boy Scout troop in Wisconsin is causing a stir in the immigration debate at the Mexican border.

It all started when the boys decided to borrow an image from a freeway sign to create a patch for their troop, which they named the Border Patrol.

The patch shows an immigrant family running. It's an image well known here in San Diego because of freeway signs warning drivers to use caution at the border.

"I've seen the signs myself, but you know, they don't say Border Patrol on them. It's basically, watch who's crossing," Latino Rebels Director of Development Rick Rios said.

The patch has been used for the past 10 years by Boy Scout Troop 11 in Milwaukee. When it hit the internet, some said it was racist.

"It's easy to say, yeah that's a racist connotation because it shows people being pursued. That's what it can appear like on the surface. But our question was, what does it represent?" Rios said.

Latinorebels.com posted the article, along with a photo of the patch. It was sent to them by a friend of a parent who didn't think it was right for his son to be wearing it.

"It was a design that was agreed upon by a Boy Scout troop out of Milwaukee, a long way from the U.S.-Mexican border," Rios said.

It turns out the boys in Troop 11 wanted to name their troop the Border Patrol, and one of the boys, who is a Latino, picked the iconic freeway sign image to use on the patch.

"Obviously, the kids said that it is not racist. It was never intended to be racist. We're Boy Scouts," Rios said.

When the story broke, the troop was flooded with emails and they responded via Twitter, "This was created by Latinos."

But in the end, the boys decided to remove the patches from their uniforms.

"They had a meeting to discuss these things, how the parents felt, how the kids felt, how they felt targeted. They handled themselves amazingly well. These are great kids, they really are," Rios said.

The Boy Scouts of America issued a statement saying the patches were created without authorization. Troop 11 also will no longer be calling itself the Border Patrol.

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