The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it has no current plans to enlist civilian volunteers to help patrol U.S. borders.
A Homeland Security official issued the denial Thursday, one day after the top U.S. border enforcement official, Robert Bonner, said his agency is exploring ways of having civilians assist the Border Patrol.
A Homeland Security statement said the job of patrolling the borders should continue to be done by the highly-trained, professional law enforcement officials of the Border Patrol and its partner agencies.
In April, hundreds of civilians took part in the so-called "Minuteman Project" to patrol the Arizona - Mexico border in an effort to reduce illegal immigration. The Minutemen rejected charges they were vigilantes.
Last year, the U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 500,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona alone.
Some information for this report provided by AP.