National Security

‘An Agent Died’: Border Patrol Union Leader Claims Media, DHS Is Burying Story Of Agent Killed In Shootout

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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A Border Patrol union official called out the media and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), claiming they’re burying or ignoring the story of the killing of an agent, in a video posted to Instagram Thursday.

National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) Vice President Art del Cueto said that the media, leadership within Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and politicians have been quick to call out agents for any wrongdoing, but haven’t stood up for them in this situation. A CBP agent was killed and two others were injured Thursday as a result of a shooting incident involving suspected smugglers off the coast of Puerto Rico. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Biden’s Outgoing Border Chief Tries To Boost Morale In Farewell Message As Illegal Immigration Spikes)

“The problem is you have to really dig within the media and the news outlets in order to find out what happened or find out the story,” Del Cueto explained.

“It’s really ridiculous that you have to really dig for that story. An agent died, an agent died. But when you hear that agents have done something wrong, you have commissioners, you have chiefs, you have politicians, they line up and have press conferences so they can make the workers at CBP and DHS look like villains,” he added.

Three CBP Marine Interdiction Agents agents were shot while exchanging gunfire with two people on a suspected smuggling vessel at about 8 a.m. Thursday, CBP said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation, adding that one of the individuals on the vessel died and another was arrested.

“I don’t mean to call anyone out, I’m just frustrated. But my heart goes out to those individuals and every single one is out there putting their lives on the line to protect our nation’s borders, to protect the future in this country,” Del Cueto said.

“Ranking Member Portman mentioned the tragic loss of one of our frontline personnel. Several others were gravely wounded. I was briefed on the situation very early this morning. These are brave members of our Air and Marine Operations within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, so the difficulty of this job cannot be compared to the difficulty that our frontline personnel face every day — and their bravery, and selfless service should be recognized and I appreciate, Ranking Member Portman, acknowledging that.” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said during a congressional hearing Thursday.

Del Cueto’s statements come over one year after Border Patrol agents were falsely accused of whipping illegal migrants and vilified publicly.

Democratic politicians, including Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Maxine Waters of California and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, and media personalities falsely accused horseback Border Patrol agents of whipping illegal migrants from Haiti in September 2021.

President Joe Biden said following the incident that the agents “will pay.”

However, CBP conducted an investigation and found no evidence of whipping nearly one year later.

Neither CBP nor DHS immediately responded to requests for comment.

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