The Washington Examiner’s Anna Giaritelli says border agent deaths are unusual and “significant” and that the Biden administration’s response has been lackluster.
“I think the secretary of [the Department of Homeland Security] has yet to publicly post anything on social media addressing this,” Giaritelli said on One America News Network, referring to the fatal shooting of a Customs and Border Protection agent on Thursday.
“But a line of duty death is significant, and the response from DHS has been anything but,” she told In Focus host Addison Smith.
US BORDER AGENT KILLED IN LINE OF DUTY IDENTIFIED
The agent, identified on Friday as Michel Maceda, 44, was approaching a suspected smuggling boat 14 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico when the shooting began. Several other officers were also injured during the event, according to a statement from CBP.
With over 60,000 officers nationwide, it is a rare occurrence for an agent to be lost, according to Giaritelli.
This is especially true for agents like Maceda, a marine interdiction agent, who conduct routine searches such as the one on Thursday “every single day.”
“For one to go deadly is very troublesome,” she said.
When asked if the problem has been exacerbated by rising crime and perceived open-border policies under President Joe Biden, Giaritelli said the administration’s response shows that they haven’t been paying attention.
She added that even the media have been mum.
“I haven’t seen a lot of coverage over this, which is kind of surprising,” Giaritelli said.
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The White House has consistently pushed that the border is secure despite a record number of encounters with illegal immigrants last month.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently sidestepped questions from lawmakers over the border, calling it a “humanitarian hemispheric” problem rather than a crisis.
“The entire hemisphere is suffering a migration crisis,” Mayorkas responded to Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) question on Friday about whether the border was in crisis.
“We are seeing an unprecedented movement of people from country to country. It is not restricted to the southern border,” he added.
Giaritelli traveled to McAllen, Texas, last week to interview agents at Border Patrol’s regional headquarters, and she said the administration’s messaging doesn’t match their sentiments.
“No one there said it’s not a crisis. Everyone’s just overworked, exhausted, [and it’s] just the new normal,” she said.
“But I have yet to meet with a single agent in all my visits to the border who would say it’s OK right now.”