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Ted Cruz demands action from Mayorkas over threats to Border Patrol agents: ‘Cartels are emboldened’

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, is seeking more information about threats posed to Border Patrol agents after reports of new threats.

FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is urging Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to provide more information, and take additional action, to combat threats against Border Patrol agents — which he attributed to “emboldened” cartels at the southern border.

“As you are no doubt aware, your primary mission as Secretary is to secure the United States from threats, a task that can only be accomplished through the efforts of dedicated officers and agents who put their safety at risk on a daily basis,” Cruz said in a letter to Mayorkas. “While there are numerous threats to our national security, few compare to the danger posed by our open southern border.”

Cruz noted House testimony from the DHS chief in July in which he said that agents at the border “perform bravely despite public attacks on their character and service; despite unfair and inadequate pay; and despite, as frontline agents repeatedly tell me, threats made against them and their families.”


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Cruz then cited reports of text messages in El Paso, Texas, that solicited personal information — including family information — of Border Patrol agents, including a pledge to torture them and post it online.

Fox has not confirmed those reports, but Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told Fox News Digital that it “takes all threats, including those directed towards agents and their families, very seriously.”

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“While counter-measures are law enforcement sensitive, we deploy necessary precautions accordingly,” the statement said.

Cruz links the threats to the policies of the Biden administration, claiming that the cartels “are emboldened by your failure of leadership at the border, and not without good reason.” He cited increased cartel profits, an increase of fentanyl to the border and more releases of migrants into the interior — as well as record numbers of “gotaways.”

“And now, as this recent safety alert indicates, the violence against law enforcement and public officials that has long plagued Mexico now appears to be gaining a foothold in the United States,” he said.

Cruz is seeking a list of all arrests DHS has made to threats against agents for FY 2022 and FY 2023, as well as referrals related to those threats it has made to other agencies. He also asked about what resources are available to agents who are believed to have been targeted by such threats, and how DHS intends to collaborate with other agencies, as well as how it intends to adjust its approach to border security in light of the threat from cartels.

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“You led the Department of Homeland Security for the past thirty-two months, and this crisis and all that flows from it is your responsibility,” he added. “If you cannot protect the Agents tasked with safeguarding the American people, you should resign.”

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DHS has previously said it has taken “significant strides to support our workforce” and had prioritized providing resources and support.

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Mayorkas, in his July remarks, said that Border Patrol agents have been his “top priority” since taking office.

“We have expanded Departmental efforts to solicit and incorporate feedback from personnel across all components and all levels, worked to ensure that every employee works in a high-quality facility, made new resources available across the Department for employee mental health and well-being, and… facilitated long-overdue pay fairness for TSA personnel,” he said.

Mayorkas also renewed calls by the Biden administration for Congress to pass laws to overhaul a “broken immigration system” and provide additional funding to disrupt cartels and secure the border. Most recently, the administration announced it is seeking an extra $14 billion from Congress.

“Our Department and this Congress need to work together as partners to address the threats and challenges America faces,” he said.

Cruz’s letter comes as Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens announced that agents have been encountering dozens of illegal immigrants with “serious criminal histories” at the southern border.

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