U.S. Border Agent’s Nightmare Incites Action by Congress
Kidnapping of Border Agent Spurs Letter to Rice
REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R-Calif.), a major advocate of strong border control, said the holding of a U.S. Border Patrol agent at gunpoint by the Mexican military (AFP Aug. 18, 2008) “raises serious questions” about Mexico’s presence and activities in the area.
“The fact that the Mexican military is operating in such close proximity to the border, without any identifiable purpose, calls into question its activities and raises concerns about the vulnerability of our southern land border,” Hunter wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
“When considering the frequency of incursions and the threat these encounters pose to our Border Patrol agents, it is critical that we take the necessary steps to ensure that Mexican military and law-enforcement personnel do not cross into the U.S. without our knowledge and consent,” Hunter wrote.
His letter was in response to an incident Aug. 3 during which a Border Patrol agent was held at gunpoint by members of the Mexican military who had crossed the border into Arizona about 85 miles southwest of Tucson. The soldiers returned to Mexico without incident when backup U.S. agents came to assist. What would have happened if no agents were available for backup at that moment?
(Issue # 34, August 25, 2008)