About 120 miles east of El Paso in the Big Bend sector of Texas, 36-year-old Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez was responding to suspicious activity when he was murdered in the line of duty. Illegal aliens reportedly killed Martinez using rocks, according to National Border Patrol Council Vice President Art Del Cueto. Martinez's partner, who called for help, was also injured in the attack.
Martinez's murder is another reminder of the dangers that exist along the porous border between the United States and Mexico. President Trump has vowed to "seek out and bring to justice those responsible." Texas Governor Greg Abbott has also announced a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and a conviction in the attack.
Since 2003, the U.S. Border Patrol says 38 agents have died in the line of duty along the U.S. - Mexico border with other fatalities occurring in traffic accidents. Martinez was a native of El Paso and had been working as a border agent for more than four years.
The senseless killing of Martinez brings with it an urgent reminder that Congress has work to do to ensure the safety of our law enforcement personnel and the security of the country. As they work on finalizing the budget, Congress needs to provide more funding for border security to include funding for a border wall. Congress must also take steps to rein in sanctuary policies that give criminal aliens assurance that once they infiltrate the United States their presence here will be protected.