It is with extreme regret that the National Border Patrol Council reports the death of Border Patrol Agent Juan Esparza. Agent Esparza was traveling home after completing his shift at the Cotulla, TX Border Patrol Station, when the van he was the driver of was struck head-on by a suspected drunk driver. The passenger, a fellow Border Patrol agent, was severely injured but will survive.
Border Patrol Agent Juan Esparza was a member of the U.S. Border Patrol Academy's 858th Session, had been a Border Patrol agent for six years, and is survived by his parents.
The thoughts and prayers of Border Patrol agents nationwide are with the family of Agent Esparza and his injured partner. This loss is felt profoundly by the Border Patrol family and the millions of Americans who support our Border Patrol agents.
This article is in response to the recent article “The Green Monster” written by Garrett M. Graff.
As president of the National Border Patrol Council, I have the honor of representing the hardworking, dedicated and patriotic individuals who protect our nation. I would walk through fire to protect the integrity of our 16,000-plus members. But I will never defend the indefensible.
The brutal crimes committed by a Texas-based agent, described in stomach-churning detail in “The Green Monster,” are monstrous, indeed. These heinous acts do not represent the Border Patrol, of course, and should not be used to dismiss or disparage the routine professionalism in our ranks. Wrongdoing should never be covered up, nor should it overshadow the frequent acts of altruism and heroism.
Commissioner Kerlikowske announced a pilot project last week that could ultimately lead to a requirement that Border Patrol agents wear body cameras. We are opposed to this ill-conceived, politically motivated idea. Our concerns are numerous.
First, trust and respect matter. It was disturbing that the new Commissioner chose to unveil this news in front of an audience of activists who openly advocate against Border Patrol agents and criticize our every action. Not only has he chosen not to sit down with us to discuss this, he failed to mention this change in policy in an interview he did earlier that morning with NBPC Vice President Shawn Moran. This is hardly the best way to establish a respectful relationship with the men and women who protect our borders.
As the threat from ISIS increases the U.S. Senate has taken steps to increase border and cybersecurity. The passage of S. 2354 - DHS Cybersecurity Workforce Recruitment and Retention Act of 2014 increases resources to protect our nation from cyber attacks and from dangerous individuals, cartels and terrorists attempting to cross our borders.
Brandon Judd, NBPC National President, praised the Senate for passing this important legislation. “The men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol would like to thank Senator McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) for their tireless efforts. We are honored to have worked with these longtime friends and advocates of Border Patrol agents, our nation’s first line of defense.”
Judd said the legislation makes our nation safer. “It effectively puts another 1,500 highly trained agents on the border while saving taxpayers $100 million a year. Given the crisis in the Middle East, it is critical that we secure our borders, and we simply cannot do it without the passage of this legislation.”
“It is now time for the House of Representatives to act,” he added. “As the ISIS threat grows, we have less manpower on the border today than we did two years ago. Potentially adding another 1,500 highly trained and motivated Agents will make a huge difference. The House of Representatives is in session only one more week before they recess. The question my Agents keep asking themselves is will they act.”