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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20 states suing Biden administration over migrant parole program
President Joe Biden has expanded a humanitarian parole program leading to a significant increase of migrants entering the United States illegally each month. As a result, 20 states have geared up to sue the Biden administration.
Tuesday, 20 Republican states and conservative legal group America First Legal, announced their plans to sue the White House over the legality of the administration’s parole program. The program “allows up to 30,000 migrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela into the homeland each month” reports Foreign Desk News.
Reports shoot the lawsuit was filed by Texas, the America First Legal and the other states in the Southern District of Texas in hopes to block the parole program.
Foreign Desk News reports of the history:
In October, the administration announced the program for Venezuelans, allowing a limited number to fly directly into the U.S. as long as they had not entered illegally, had a sponsor already, and passed certain checks. In early January, President Biden announced that the program would expand to include Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Cubans, allowing up to 30,000 a month into the U.S.
The program also allows migrants to receive work permits and a two-year authorization to live in the U.S. and was announced alongside an expansion of Title 42 expulsions to include those nationalities.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that the program is unlawful given the “exceptionally limited” parole power the federal government has, adding that they have up to 360,000 migrants that could be allowed into the homeland a year.
The suit’s focus is on the limits placed on parole by Congress, saying that the authority is to be used on a “case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”
“Every state in America, especially border states like Texas, is being crushed by the impacts of illegal immigration,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“The Biden open borders agenda has created a humanitarian crisis that is increasing crime and violence in our streets, overwhelming local communities, and worsening the opioid crisis. This unlawful amnesty program, which will invite hundreds of thousands of aliens into the U.S. every year, will only make this immigration crisis drastically worse.”
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