Early Tuesday morning, October 2, two Border Patrol Agents were shot. One, Nick Ivey, was killed. The shootings reportedly took place eight miles north of the international border with Mexico, near the town of Naco, Arizona. The agents were responding to sensor alerts. Drugs may have been involved but we lack any further details at this moment. We note the cruel irony that this murder takes place within a week after the Border Patrol station at Naco, Arizona, was named for Brian Terry, an agent who was killed by transnational criminals near Rio Rico, AZ in December, 2010.
What is clear is this: yet again, an agent has been murdered and another wounded. Despite assurances from this administration that the border is secure and under control, it remains a dangerous place, far too open to smuggling, controlled as much by the transnational criminals as by the United States.
In recent years organizations supporting border patrol agents have argued against the baseless claims that the border is under control. It is not, and this murder offers one more example of that sad fact. Furthermore, for some time we have been certain that as pressure on drug smuggling routes in the Nogales/Tucson corridor increases the transnational criminals will move to areas further east that are less heavily monitored. This event supports that conclusion.
Despite the clear probability that transnational criminals will move their operations to less patrolled areas, some environmental groups in New Mexico want to establish wilderness areas or a national monument in Dona Ana County, adjacent to the border. If that is done, the Border Patrol will be hampered in its operations. We are baffled at the invitation being extended to the lawless elements that would certainly expand their operations in a protected area so close to the Mexican border.
The border insecurity that exists now is a national security and a public safety issue that must be addressed in serious fashion, not with hollow statements from the Department of Homeland Security that all is well. It demonstrably is not.