In a letter addressed to President Obama, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, along with other Members of Congress, requested the President increase the number of border agents to ensure that we are able to protect our nation’s borders.
The letter stated the need for securing our borders is a top national security priority. It expressed that the border agents who patrol the southern border play an instrumental role in this effort and urged the President to allocate the number of border agents necessary to protect the border.
“Our borders are not secure and they are not safe,” said Simpson. “In July, Border Agent Robert Rosas was murdered near the border while tracking illegal immigrants. A few weeks ago, a human smuggler tried to run over an agent. We must put an end to this needless and reckless violence and secure our borders.”
The U.S.-Mexico border is 1,954 miles long. During a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Todd Owen estimated that only 697 miles of the Mexican border are under effective control. That leaves more than 1,200 miles of our southern border vulnerable to illegal crossings by drug smugglers, terrorists, human traffickers and other criminals.
Members of Congress urged the President to not reduce the number of agents, writing, “Now is not the time to reduce the number of agents protecting the United States along the border with Mexico. We are concerned about this crisis and are willing to work with you to ensure that the Border Patrol has the workforce necessary to accomplish its mission, including reducing border violence and stopping the flow of illegal immigrants.”