A U.S. Border Patrol agent reportedly died in an accident while pursuing a group of illegal immigrants. On Wednesday, the Border Patrol chief tweeted that the agent, Raul Gonzalez, crashed his all-terrain vehicle while involved in a pursuit in Mission, Texas. He added, “The death of an agent who dies while securing our nation’s border is a tremendous loss to our organization and our nation.”
— Chief Raul Ortiz (@USBPChief) December 7, 2022
Fox News reports that the 38-year-old agent was driving fast when he collided with a barrier. The father of two was brought to the hospital by other agents, where he subsequently passed away. According to agency records, Gonzalez is the sixth Border Patrol agent to pass away while performing their duties this year. However, 2022 has been less deadly than past years, as the agency saw 35 deaths in the line of duty in 2021.
The deaths in the line of duty come as the Border Patrol and its parent organization, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, deal with a record number of suicides—eight people have committed suicide this year, including three in November alone. Understaffed and overworked Border Patrol agents faced the biggest number of migrants to attempt crossing the border illegally. Border patrol has seen more than 2 million encounters in the fiscal year 2022 as the country continues grappling with the historic border crisis.
The death of Gonzalez comes one day after President Biden decided not to visit the border during a trip to Arizona. Biden claimed, “there are more important things going on,” when asked why he did not visit the border.
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