Two agents of the United States immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) were attacked in central Mexico on Tuesday, as they were driving from Mexico City to Monterey. They were traveling in a vehicle with diplomatic plates, which was forced off the road by a dozen or more gunmen. One of the agents was killed, while the other sustained gunshot wounds to the arm and leg, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The attack is part of a rising tide of violence in Mexico, which has also claimed the life of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on the American side of the border last December, and missionary Nancy Davis in February. The death toll of Mexican civilians is horrific, with CBS News reporting almost 35,000 people killed since 2006. In the Mexican border town of Juarez, an average of seven people have died each day this year.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano released a statement that she was “deeply saddened” by this news. That’s nice. We don’t need a Secretary of Deep Sadness.
Napolitano used the dreaded “let me be clear” verbiage to declare that “any act of violence against our ICE personnel – or any DHS personnel – is an attack against all those who serve our nation and put their lives at risk for our safety.” What about attacks on innocent unarmed female missionaries?
It is painfully clear that Mexico is a failed state, unable to secure its borders with the United States. I don’t like the idea of abandoning Mexicans to the tender mercies of their drug lords and corrupt government, but our government has a sworn duty to think about the safety of Americans first.
It’s long past time for the massive military deployment to secure the border called for in the “Broken Neighbor, Broken Border” House Immigration Caucus report last November. We don’t need another bureaucrat sobbing about how unhappy the latest murders make her, or promising to work with “Mexican partners” who clearly cannot, or will not, establish control. We need action. 35,000 murders is not a crime, it’s an atrocity. More murders of American officials and citizens are unacceptable. There are barbarians at the gate, and it is time to repel them.
Legal immigrants from Mexico deserve a safe passage into the nation that has won their loyalty. Honest businessmen from both America and Mexico deserve safe routes of trade. Customs and Border Patrol agents need a secure border to defend and police. If we really wanted to help the good people of northern Mexico, we’d move military forces into position quietly, draw the drug gangs out into battle, and annihilate them. At a bare minimum, we can let them know that conducting operations near the American border, or harming American agents, is a death sentence. Telling the cartels, or the Mexican government they are in the process of defeating, how “saddened” we are by their latest outrage is absolutely useless.