LAREDO –Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) released the following statement following the arrest a Border Patrol agent suspected of killing four in Laredo:
“The arrest of the border patrol agent who has allegedly committed multiple murders could not have happened without the hard work and expertise of the Texas Rangers, the Webb County Sheriff’s Office, the Webb County District Attorney’s Office, and Laredo Police Department.
Having just spoken with Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar, there is no doubt in my mind that the heroic efforts of these four agencies have saved lives; they are to be commended. Establishing and maintaining high standards for Border Patrol agents is a top priority for my office. We have advocated for and implemented new standards during the hiring process as well as new standards of professionalism after joining Border Patrol.
Just this afternoon I spoke with CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to talk about the situation in Laredo. We have agreed to work together on the hiring and professionalism of border patrol agents. We spoke about how more steps need to be taken to make certain that people who want to become Border Patrol agents receive the appropriate psychological screening to ensure that no person who is capable of these type of actions is allowed to join or remain in the ranks. We also spoke about hiring more Professional Responsibility officers so that they can police their own.
The commissioner assured me that we will continue to work together to address these issues. I also intend to speak with the General Inspector of DHS who is working on this matter, to express my concern that this is the second case this year involving a border patrol agent who has killed someone in Laredo. I also intend to talk to the VA about the particular facts of this Border Patrol agent who was a veteran.
As a member of the House Appropriations subcommittee for Homeland Security, I will be asking my colleagues to help me secure additional resources to address the above issues.
Border Patrol agents are great men and women who work hard to keep us safe, and we thank them for their work. However, this is the second instance this year involving a Border Patrol agent killing someone in Laredo. We will continue to monitor this situation to see how we can provide any additional resources to DHS.
I extend my condolences to the families of the victims during this difficult time.”