The Washington Examiner, the first to report the incident, noted the shootout happened 14 miles off the coast of northwestern Puerto Rico. Three federal agents were shot, one of whom died, according to a statement from Customs and Border Protection.
The Customs and Border Protection agency confirmed to the Washington Examiner that the agents involved were from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection‘s Air and Marine Operations arm (AMO) and work the air and sea to patrol for human and drug smugglers.
The agents were “involved in an exchange of gunfire with individuals on board a suspected smuggling vessel upon approach 14 miles off the coast of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.”
“The marine agents suffered various gunshot injuries as a result” and were airlifted by CBP and Coast Guard to the Puerto Rico Trauma Center. According to a local news outlet, agents intercepted the snuggles who were attempting to transfer drugs on board to another vessel.
Three male Puerto Rican residents were taken into FBI custody mid-Thursday and arrested as suspects in the murder and assaults of the three agents.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, cited the report during a hearing on threats to the homeland Thursday.
“Ranking member Portman mentioned the tragic loss of one of our front-line personnel. Several others were gravely wounded. I was briefed on the situation very early this morning,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said during a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Thursday. “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 front-line personnel face every day — and their bravery and selfless service should be recognized.”
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Trump, Rep Biggs: invoking the Alien Enemies Act to enable widespread deportation will ‘be necessary’
At a recent rally in Iowa, former President Donald Trump promised that if elected again in 2024, he would invoke the Alien Enemies Act to enable widespread deportation of migrants who have illegally entered the United States. Since President Joe Biden took office in January of 2021, over 6 million people have illegally entered the country.
Republican Representative Andy Biggs from border state Arizona, which is among the states suffering the greatest consequences from the Biden administration policies, lamented that Trump’s suggestion will be “necessary.”
Speaking on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show, Biggs stated “[I]t’s actually gonna have to be necessary.” Biggs then added his thoughts on how many more people will continue to cross the border under Biden: “Because by the time Trump gets back in office, you will have had over 10 million, in my opinion, over 10 million illegal aliens cross our border and come into the country, under the Biden regime.”
“And so when you start deporting people, and removing them from this country, what that does is that disincentivizes the tens of thousands of people who are coming,” Biggs went on. “And by the way, everyday down in Darién Gap, which is in Panama… over 5,000 people a day. [I] talk[ed] to one of my sources from the gap today. And I will just tell you, those people that you’ve seen come come in to Eagle Pass, over 7,000 in a three day period, most of those two weeks ago, were down crossing into the Darién Gap.”
“And those people… make their way up and they end up in the Eagle Pass [Texas], Del Rio area,” he continued. “So if you want to disincentivize them, you remove them from the country, which is why they remain in Mexico policy was so doggone effective at slowing down illegal border crossings.”
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