Tags: Homeland Security | Immigration | Mexico | Trump Administration | jason chaffetz | homeland security | border patrol

Chaffetz: DHS Delayed Response to Border Patrol Guard Death

Chaffetz: DHS Delayed Response to Border Patrol Guard Death
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 November 2017 09:51 AM

The Department of Homeland Security did not respond quickly enough to the death of a Border Patrol agent and the injuries of his partner, as they "they didn't put a noose" around the area to catch their attackers or issue a statement in a timely manner, former Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz said Tuesday.

"They didn't catch these perpetrators," Chaffetz, now a commentator on Fox News, told the "Fox and Friends." "They didn't put a noose around that and tighten it and catch these perpetrators. They didn't do that and they delayed that statement."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, reported Sunday that agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner, who has not been named, had been injured and transported to a local hospital, where Martinez died.

In a statement, the agency said Border Patrol agents from Big Bend Sector and the Culberson County Sheriff's Department secured the scene, and the Border Patrol's Special Operations Group and agents from CBP's Air and Marine Operations was searching the area for potential suspects or witnesses.

"I think Homeland Security is doing a great deal of injustice when they put out that statement and said 'we blanketed the area,'" Chaffetz said. "No, they didn't. They didn't catch these perpetrators. They didn't put a noose around that and tighten it and catch these perpetrators. They didn't do that. They delayed that statement. I think Congress needs to dive into that one as well."

Meanwhile, a U.S. official said Monday the surviving agent, who had radioed in for help, is saying he does not remember what happened.

Martinez was found at the bottom of a 14-foot culvert, where investigators said he might have fallen. The area where the men were injured is well known for drug activity.

The FBI said Monday that the agents were found Saturday night. Customs, however, did not issue its statement on the injuries until Sunday.

Several officials, though, have said Martinez and his partner were attacked, but Rush Carter, a supervisor for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol region that includes the area where Martinez died, said the agency can only confirm the men "were injured while performing their regular duties."

"We are waiting for the investigation to fully determine how those injuries happened," Carter said Monday night.

Chaffetz said Tuesday he has spoken with people who work the area where Martinez and his partner were injured, and he is angry about the incident.

"Most of the time when these agents go out, they are going out by themselves," Chaffetz said. "It's in the wee hours of the morning, an alarm goes off, he is following some tracks and then he's ambushed and killed."

He also insisted Americans should not be fooled to think that everyone who is coming across the border "just wants to make their life better."

"Come on," Chafetz said. "They are running drugs and doing other nefarious things. These are really bad actors out there . . . I'm totally on board with the president. Build that wall."

Chaffetz also spoke out about a judge's order to permanently block President Donald Trump's order on funding sanctuary cities.

U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick ruled against the administration's argument Trump's order applied to just a small amount of money, and he cannot set rules on spending that Congress has approved.

"The way to actually solve this is actually on Dec. 8," said Chaffetz, explaining the reauthorization for the government's funding bill has to happen by then.

"One or two sentences placed into that funding bill, which will pass, will solve this problem, give the president the authority,'" Chaffetz said.

Orrick, he added, is a "clear partisan" who has no desire to help Trump, but "Congress has a responsibility to give the president this option, and they can do it week after next."

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The Department of Homeland Security did not respond quickly enough to the death of a Border Patrol agent and the injuries of his partner, former Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz said Tuesday.
jason chaffetz, homeland security, border patrol, ambush
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2017-51-21
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 09:51 AM
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