Saturday, July 30, 2011

Slain Border Patrol Agent Honored By Local Lawmaker

Congressman Darrell Issa has introduced H.R. 2668, the “Brian A. Terry Memorial Act." 

By Mirna Alfonso

Honors are being paid by the congressman representing Lake Elsinore and Wildomar to a Border Patrol agent who was gunned down Dec. 14 while on duty and died the following day from his injuries.

This week, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista), who represents Lake Elsinore and Wildomar, introduced H.R. 2668, which if passed into law would allow a Border Patrol station in Arizona to be renamed after slain agent Brian A. Terry.

Terry was killed while on patrol 14 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border near Rio Rico, Ariz., during an armed confrontation with suspected criminals.

The bill is the second such introduced by Issa, who was instrumental in having the Border Patrol station in Murrieta named in honor of agents Theodore L. Newton, Jr. and George F. Azrak, both of whom were killed on duty in 1967.

Issa introduced H.R. 2668, the “Brian A. Terry Memorial Act,” in the House of Representatives Wednesday, according to an announcement issued by his office.

"Our nation's Border Patrol agents have a distinguished history of working to protect our borders. Agent Terry … gave his life defending this country," Issa said via the emailed announcement. “Naming the Bisbee station in his honor recognizes his sacrifice, service and heroism."

The facility being discussed for renaming is in the district of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering after being shot in the head by an assailant during an appearance.

“In the past half-century, 70 U.S. Border Patrol agents – including Agent Terry – have been killed while protecting our nation,” said Pia Carusone, chief of staff for Rep. Giffords (D-Ariz.), whose office worked with Issa on the legislation. “Congresswoman Giffords has led the fight for increased border security so Agent Terry and others will not have died in vain.”

Terry’s family also issued a statement expressing approval for the idea.

“From the very start, Brian loved his job as a Border Patrol agent and loved his fellow agents. The new Naco Station named in Brian’s honor will serve as a lasting memory for all those who knew Brian," the family stated.
Before becoming an agent in the summer of 2007, Terry served as a Marine and also as a Michigan police officer.

According to Issa’s statement, Terry’s murder is linked to Operation Fast and Furious, an unlawful program where federal law enforcement agencies knowingly allowed the trafficking of illegally purchased weapons into Mexico, arming drug cartels.

A suspect in the murder has been indicted, Issa's office told Patch Friday.

To read more about the operation, click here.

Issa’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee is conducting an ongoing investigation to determine which U.S. officials are responsible for creating and authorizing the program, according to the press release.
To read the text of the legislation, click here.

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