Just a few short weeks ago, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jaime Zapata was gunned down in Mexico while traveling in a diplomatically labeled vehicle. It was yet another tragedy in the escalating war between Mexican drug cartels and everyone else. And, of course, rather than stepping forward and doing everything he can to stop the drug violence that is spilling over into America and to protect border agents, Barack Obama held a press conference and announced that rather than arming agents such as Zapata, he would look at “procedures” for keeping agents safe.
In a joint news conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Obama said he would not allow agents to be armed while traveling in Mexico.
“There are laws in place in Mexico that say that our agents should not be armed,” Obama said, describing the U.S. role south of the border as an “advisory” one. “We do not carry out law enforcement activities inside of Mexico.”
The president’s statement answers speculation about how far the administration would go in reforming safety measures in response to the killing three weeks ago of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico. The shooting death raised questions in the U.S. about Mexico’s ability to control violence but U.S. officials earlier wouldn’t say whether Obama would press the Mexican leader to allow U.S. agents to be armed.
Law enforcement? Since when is protecting one’s own life a “law enforcement” issue? Zapata was brazenly attacked. The Mexican drug violence is creeping more and more onto American soil, and Obama is talking about our agents’ “advisory” role? Come on!
Coming out of the meeting Thursday afternoon, both presidents stressed that U.S. agents cannot be armed. Obama said he was nevertheless concerned about the safety of agents and that they would examine “procedures and protocols” for how to better protect them. Calderon said Mexican officials are “deeply analyzing alternatives.”
Wow… that’s reassuring. I’m so glad Obama is looking at “procedures and protocols.” The next time one of our agents is getting fired upon, I’m sure that agent will sit back, take a deep breath, and relax, right? Obama has the situation under control thanks to “procedures and protocols.”
Just look at the killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. According to a story in the Arizona Daily Star, Terry and another agent ordered a group of “illegal border entrants” to drop their weapons during a confrontation. They didn’t. So, the two border agents fired beanbags at them. Yes, that’s right… beanbags. The “migrants” (as labeled in the news story) returned fire using guns. Terry was shot and killed.
Terry’s brother, Kent Terry, said the other agents who were there that night told him that they were instructed to use the non-lethal beanbags first. It’s a policy that doesn’t make sense to Kent Terry.
“You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags – I don’t get it,” Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. “It’s like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. … These guys (Border Patrol agents) are professionals; they should be able to use their judgment call on their own.”
Meanwhile, back at the press conference, Obama and Calderon did announce a preliminary agreement on allowing Mexican trucks to use U.S. highways. Americans are dying, but at least we have free trade, right?
It’s obvious that America has a right to protect its sovereign territory. So let’s do it! This Mexican drug violence that is happening in America must be stopped. We don’t need to “analyze alternatives.” We certainly don’t need to “deeply analyze” them. American immigration agents should be armed when traveling in hostile territory. Since nearly 30,000 people have died due to drug violence, it’s clear that Mexico is hostile territory.