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US Border Patrol agents feel “abandoned” by the Biden administration as they are stretched to their limit dealing with record numbers of immigrants pouring over the border daily, members of Congress said Wednesday.

As a result, 14 Customs and Border Protection employees have taken their own lives in 2022 and six agents have been killed in the line of duty, according to a bipartisan group who gathered in Washington to demand answers.

Border Patrol are currently dealing with an unprecedented migrant crisis — with a record 2.4 million encounters with people attempting to enter the country in the 2022 fiscal year — as well as plummeting morale.

“I’m the wife of border patrol agent, standing on behalf of all those who can’t speak out themselves,” Republican Rep. Mayra Flores of Texas said at a press conference outside the US Capitol. “Abandoned — they are the words so many border patrol agents talk to me about. Abandoned by this administration.

M. Boatwright (left); Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Roque “Rocky” Sarinana (top right) and Supervisor Border Patrol Agent Javier R. Fabela (bottom right.)
Three US Border Patrol agents died by suicide in November.
Twitter / @USBPChief

“How many more lives do we have to lose for the administration to take the border crisis seriously?”

Flores’ comments come a day after President Biden brushed off the issue as he jetted off to Arizona to talk about semiconductor manufacturing deals.

When asked why he wouldn’t visit the border during his trip, Biden replied: “Because there are more important things going on.”

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, center, speaks during a news conference on rising suicide rates at the U.S. Border Patrol, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, center, speaks during a news conference on rising suicide rates at the US Border Patrol on Dec. 7, 2022.
AP

Flores countered: “That’s a ridiculous statement, and it is a disrespect to our Border Patrol agents. I’m asking him to come to south Texas to come and see what our agents are going through.”

Flores and seven Congressional Republicans and Democrats met Wednesday to announce the Taking Action to Prevent Suicides — or TAPS — Act, which will be formally unveiled Thursday.

Border Patrol officers across the southern border are seeing huge influxes of asylum seeking migrants fleeing failed governments in Central and South America — particularly Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba.

Texas Congressman Tony Gonzales leads the charge to introduce the Taking Action to Prevent Suicides, or the TAPS Act during a press conference in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.
Texas Congressman Tony Gonzales leads the charge to introduce the Taking Action to Prevent Suicides.
AP

The border crossing in El Paso, Texas has become a flashpoint — and is now dealing with over 1,500 people a day trying to cross into the country, many seeking asylum.

Those who are processed and released into the US are often sent to El Paso’s shelters, which have become so overwhelmed at times, migrants have been left out onto the streets to fend for themselves.

Incoming Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz, a Republican, talked about the unseen side of border patrol agents, such as the “brave men and women who wake up early and make extra sandwiches so they have food to give the abandoned migrant children they come across,” explaining how officers in remote areas find children abandoned by cartels after being smuggled across the US border.

Border Patrol agents have to deal with other heartbreaking episodes such as children left alone with nothing other than the details of a family friend in the US written on their shirts.

Brandon Judd
Brandon Judd, president of National Border Patrol Council, speaks at the press conference in Washington, DC.
C-SPAN

Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis added: “When [agents] see what is happening — not just the fentanyl that is streaming in, that has killed 100,000 Americans – but also seeing the tragedy of hundreds of migrants who have died … It’s got to take a real toll on these officers, who know all of those things are preventable.”

Republican Texas Congressman Tony Gonzales — who has been sounding the alarm on the “epidemic” of border patrol agent suicides, also said he feels the ongoing migrant crisis is taking its toll.”I don’t care what your work is … if you’re overworked, that’s going to impact your life,” he said.

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