Political leaders urge for stronger borders - Tucson News Now

Political leaders urge for stronger borders

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Politicians across the state and country are sending their condolences to Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie and weighing in on border security.

U.S. Representative Ron Barber who represents the southern Arizona district where the shooting occurred said, "We need to redouble our efforts to secure the border and ensure the safety of Border Patrol agents."

Rep. Barber says 50% of the drugs seized in the country come from that corridor. Former State Senator Jonathan Paton, a Republican, agrees.  In fact, he sponsored Arizona's Human Smuggling bill and has been pushing for stronger border protection. 

"It's a recurring problem and I think its going to get worse because we haven't really done much to secure the border," said Paton.

The agents killed and injured in Tuesday's shooting were both assigned to the Brian Terry station near Naco. The same station named after the last agent shot and killed in the line of duty, two years ago.

Congressman Barber says security at the border is one of his main focuses. He says it's a constant fear for people in that area. 

"They tell me the border is not secure, that we need to have more resources to make sure they are safe on their land, that their children are safe and that we are protecting the people that live in that area,"

For Rep. Barber and Paton, they both agree that border security should be a bipartisan issue.

"We can argue about immigration or how we go about that. But people do want the government to finally secure the border," said Paton.

"It's what's right for our country and the people who live here and the agents that take this duty so seriously and everyday put there life on the line," said Barber.

Running against Barber in that district is retired U.S. Air Force Pilot Martha McSally.  She released this statement, "Southern Arizona was gravely reminded late last night of the extreme violence on our border. My deepest prayers and condolences go out to the family of the fallen hero, his fellow agents, and the community of Naco."

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