Ariz. lawmakers call for federal help to secure the border after agent’s death

Members of Arizona's congressional delegation are calling for increased federal attention to making the U.S.-Mexico border more secure after an Arizona border agent was killed Tuesday morning.

Agent Nicholas Ivie was killed and another agent was wounded in a shooting that is being investigated. Ivie's death marks the second death of the U.S. border agent in two years; agent Brian Terry was shot and killed in 2010, which eventually led to an investigation into whether weapons that the United States allowed to be sent into Mexico were used in that shooting.

Rep. Ron Barber (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday noted that Ivie was working out of the Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station, which Congress named in Terry's honor two weeks ago.

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"This is a powerful reminder that our borders are far from secure and that every day the courageous men and women of the Border Patrol put their lives on the line while protecting the citizens of Arizona and the United States," said Barber, who joined Congress this year after the near-fatal shooting of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) led her to resign.

"We need to redouble our efforts to secure the border and ensure the safety of Border Patrol agents," Barber added. "We cannot cede one foot of American soil to these cross-border bandits. And we must never forget that the men and women of the Border Patrol are on the front lines defending our country."

Others echoed Barber's call for more federal money to secure the border.

"The federal government must commit the necessary resources to secure the border, because that's simply not happening right now," said Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is running for the Senate.

"I will continue to watch closely as details of this tragic incident are reported and will continue to pursue all of the actions afforded to Congress to strengthen our border security, empower our local law enforcement and seek justice for the victims," Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) said.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said he spoke with Border Patrol agents on Tuesday, and that they said they are "dedicating enormous resources to pursuing and bringing to justice the people responsible."

"We join him and the entire Border Patrol community in demanding justice and accountability," he said. "This crime cannot, and will not, pass without a swift and appropriate response."

"While the investigation is still in its early stages, today's events are a tragic reminder of the threats that Border Patrol agents face every day in the line of duty," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with these agents, their families, and all those in the Border Patrol community."

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