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Madam Speaker, I bring you news from the third front. The third front is the border that the United States has with Mexico, almost 2,000 miles long. The first front, of course, is the battle in Iraq. The second is the one in Afghanistan. The third front is the violence that occurs on our southern border with our neighbors in Mexico.
Tonight I would like to talk about one specific group, and that's our Border Patrol agents who are doing a noble job on the broard southern border with Mexico. Some people don't realize this, but our Border Patrol agents, Madam Speaker, are under constant attack, daily attack, and it's from people that are coming into the United States illegally. The assaults against our Border Patrol officers have increased up to 16 percent more than last year. Just in the Tucson area, assaults against Border Patrol agents in the first 2 months of this year have increased 300 percent from last year. Over 108 Border Patrol agents in a 2-month period have been assaulted in the Tucson area.
Let me show you a photograph, Madam Speaker. I'm not sure you can see this. Let me hold it up. This is a Border Patrol vehicle. It's a pickup truck. But you can see that there is mesh steel across portions of this Border Patrol vehicle. The Border Patrol calls this vehicle and others like it a ``war wagon.''
Now, why would they have this mesh steel across their windows, across the front windshield, on the roof protecting the lights, the red lights? Why would they have this? Well, it's to protect themselves. You see, when these Border Patrol vehicles go up and down the U.S. border with Mexico, those people who want to come into the United States illegally are waiting for them in different parts of the border, on our side right on the border, and throw rocks at our Border Patrol, and that's how many of the assaults have occurred against our Border Patrol agents in recent years.
So thus they have to build these war wagons, something that you might want to see in Afghanistan or Iraq, to protect themselves from those who enter the United States illegally because they are constantly throwing rocks at them to divert the attention of our Border Patrol.
The rocks are a weapon of choice by those who want to come into the United States illegally and who confront our Border Patrol. It's not just the weapons of choice by them, our cartels, of course--the drug cartels. They use other weapons. A little more firepower. Border Patrol is out-manned, out-gunned, and out-financed by the vicious border cartels who bring drugs into the United States and make money off of the illegal use of narcotics in bringing those drugs into the United States.
Now, finally, we have started hearing something about what is taking place on the border. It's because of the folks in Arizona; that's where Tucson is. That's where Border Patrol assaults on Border Patrol agents have increased 300 percent in 2 months. They have so desperately taken matters into their own hands and made it illegal to be in the United States if you do not have a passport or a legal document. They have taken the Federal law and allowed police officers, when they have reasonable suspicion, to arrest somebody that's illegally in the United States. In other words, they catch them for doing some other crime, they find out they're illegally in the country and it becomes a crime in Arizona.
They had to pass that law because the Federal Government, who's supposed to protect the sovereignty of the country and protect citizens from people who throw rocks at our Border Patrol, for example, it's the Federal Government's job to do that. But the Federal Government--because we're too busy, like today. We honor on the House floor all the assistant principals in the United States. Now I'm sure that was an important piece of legislation that we passed today, yet we're honoring assistant principals and naming post offices while we ought to be securing the borders of the United States.
We secure the borders of foreign countries better than we secure our own borders. We secure the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan and Third World countries, but not our own border. So we have to leave our Border Patrol on patrol, driving these war wagons to protect themselves when they're trying to enforce the rule of law.
I recently asked a Texas Ranger down in the Laredo area, I said, What's it like after the sun goes down? He said, Congressman Poe, it gets western. It gets western. What he meant by that, it gets violent. And it does get violent. The gunfire, the violence, the kidnappings, the murders all take place down there because the drug cartels are trying to bring drugs into the United States. And they out-man, out-gun, and out-finance our Border Patrol agents.
Our Border Patrol agents are doing as good a job as we'll let them do, and we need to help them all we can. Several Governors on the border States have asked that the President send the National Guard down there. That's probably a good idea. Let's send the National Guard to the border, secure the border, and make sure that our Border Patrol agents and our sovereignty is protected.
And that's just the way it is.
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