By Jim Kouri
A U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and another agent was wounded Tuesday during a shootout with suspects believed to be members of a Mexican drug cartel, according to a law enforcement source.
Ironically, the agents were ambushed in Naco, Arizona, not far from the Border Patrol station recently named for the late Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry who was also murdered by drug-smugglers using a gun connected to the Operation Fast and Furious debacle.
Border Patrol Agent Nicolas Ivie, 30, was part of a three-man patrol on horseback when they were ambushed by the suspects. Ivie and another agent were shot while the third agent suffered no injuries, according to Local 2544 of the National Border Patrol Council, the agents’ union.
The agents on patrol were responding to one of the alarm sensors along the border when they were ambushed. While Ivie died at the scene, his wounded partner was taken to a hospital emergency room via helicopter.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) issued a press release announcing that a full investigation will be conducted into the shooting. “This shooting is a tragic reminder of the dangers the brave men and women who guard our borders face every day,” Issa said.
“Today’s violence is also a reminder that this Administration’s failure to secure America’s southern border continues to come at unspeakable cost. While federal authorities have been unable to determine whether Fast and Furious guns were linked to today’s shooting, it is an ongoing scandal that 1,300 of the 2,000 guns that were deliberately put into the hands of dangerous traffickers and Mexican drug cartels by the U.S government remain unaccounted for,” said Republican Rep. Trent Franks from Arizona.
This latest incident comes at a time when there are allegations by Border Patrol agents against their superiors including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. In addition, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration including Napolitano and ICE director John Morton. The agents claim that the Obama administration is fabricating their immigration enforcement statistics sometimes counting the same illegal alien twice.
The ICE agents also allege in their lawsuit that the Obama executive order — called Amnesty Light by critics — causes a confusing situation in which they must choose between enforcing federal laws and being disciplined by their commanders, or obeying their supervisors thereby violating oaths of office and a Clinton administration law — passed by a bi-partisan Congress in 1996 — that mandates the deportation of illegal aliens.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Christopher Crane, President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, the union representing America’s more than 7,000 ICE agents and personnel, and Border Patrol agent George McCubbin, President of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing America’s more than 17,000 border agents and personnel, both blasted President Barack Obama’s de facto “Dream Act,” and the actions of superiors at their respective agencies.
“The Administration claims it has diligently enforced immigration law and that the border is ‘more secure than ever.’ But those on the front lines know this to be untrue. They see the violence, chaos and lawlessness. They have lost confidence in the leadership of their agencies,” according to the outspoken Agent Crane.
“As you will hear, this administration has engaged in a sustained, relentless effort to undermine America’s immigration laws. They have handcuffed and muffled those charged with protecting the public safety and the integrity of our borders. Such action has not only weakened our security but our democracy, as well,” he stated.
“All Americans, immigrant and native born, will have a better future if our nation remains unique in the world for the special reverence it places on the rule of law and fairness in our immigration system,” Crane stated.
“It‘s impossible to understand the full scope of the administration’s changes, but what we are seeing… concerns us greatly,” Crane said.
“I pray God’s deepest comfort and peace for the family of agent [Nicolas Ivie] who was killed today. I hope his family is comforted knowing that their loved one died courageously in the defense of innocent Americans and that his sacrifice will not be forgotten,” said Rep. Franks.