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Federal Officers Slam Obama for Statements on Mexico Dangers

March 07, 2011  | 

Today, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) announced its opposition to remarks made by President Obama regarding the role and safety of ICE Special Agents assigned to Mexico. After his meeting with Mexico President Calderon on Thursday, President Obama stated, "There are laws in place in Mexico that say our agents should not be armed," and "We do not carry out law enforcement activities inside of Mexico."  President Obama also stated that the role of ICE Agents was an "advisory" one.

FLEOA vehemently disagrees with both comments.  In response to these remarks, FLEOA National President Jon Adler stated, "With all due respect, Mr. President, you have been tragically misinformed on both points."  Contrary to what President Obama asserted, all law enforcement officers assigned to Mexico do perform "law enforcement activities."  This may include conducting field interviews, responding to crime scenes, overseeing training, and participating in raids. The fact that they don't actually handcuff suspects doesn't diminish their role or the risks they face.

On February 15, 2011, alleged members of a Mexican cartel savagely ambushed two ICE Special Agents assigned to Mexico, and fatally wounded one of them. During this cowardly attack, hero ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata was brutally murdered, and hero ICE Special Agent Victor Avila was shot and critically injured.

According to FLEOA President Adler, "Our heroes were targeted and savagely attacked because of who they were-American law enforcement officers-and not because of the activities they performed. If our State Department is incapable of securing weapon permits for our officers, then we shouldn't continue sending them to Mexico unarmed."

On Friday, FLEOA met with Chairman Michael McCaul's staff from the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. FLEOA requested that the committee hold hearings in order to demand accountability for why the U.S. government sends unarmed law enforcement officers into hostile, crime-ridden foreign countries. FLEOA also respectfully requested that Congress halt all funding that is used by U.S. agencies to send unarmed law enforcement officers to unstable foreign countries.       

FLEOA recognizes the importance of having law enforcement officers assigned to Mexico, and having them work closely with our Mexican counterparts. However, FLEOA President Adler stated, "It is reckless for our government to send any law enforcement officer to a foreign hostile area, with a Miranda card but no means of defending themselves. Calling our officers/agents "advisors" only serves to undermine the heroic work they perform.  It doesn't minimize the risks they face."

FLEOA intends to honor the memory of hero Special Agent Jaime Zapata by continuing to advocate for agent's safety abroad. FLEOA extends its heartfelt prayers and condolences to Special Agent Zapata's family, and wishes Special Agent Victor Avila a strong and rapid recovery. FLEOA will honor the ultimate sacrifice made by Special Agent Zapata during the annual Candlelight Vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on May 13.

FLEOA is the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit professional association exclusively representing 26,000 active and retired federal law enforcement officers from 65 different agencies.

Comments (23)

Displaying 1 - 23 of 23

USMC Ret. @ 3/7/2011 9:43 AM

Surprise, surprise, not everyone shares Janet Napolitano's view that the border is secure and Mexico is the new Disneyland.

depharry @ 3/7/2011 4:05 PM

LEOs from the USA working in Mexico should not be armed - they should be HEAVILY armed.

Fed (Ret) @ 3/7/2011 4:11 PM

Janet Napolitano has not one clue about law enforcement. She is a waste of tax payers money, and Obama is not far behind.

If ICE agents roles are just "advisory" then tell Mexican authorities to come to the states and we will advise them all they want. Why put agents in danger who are targets when in Mexico, and I speak from experience.

Obama, you will not be re-eleted and I hope our new president shows Napolitano the door with his/her foot!

ICE Agent @ 3/7/2011 4:19 PM

My job as an ICE Agent is just "advisory," ask me again to go into Mexico and ill tell you were to stick it!!!!!!!!

ten98Sam @ 3/7/2011 4:23 PM

Why waste breath on trying to educated Obama and Nepolitano? They are too stupid to comprehend the real world. My advise to ICE agents is to come back to the US and tell Obama and company to jam it where the sun doesn't shine. Then when they try to fire them, sue the government for civil rights to life violations.


Rick @ 3/7/2011 4:23 PM

The solution at this point is not heavily armed LEO's; it is several Marine Expeditionary Units. A few armed LEO's are not going to diminish the widespread bribery and corruption of officials nor will it deter the mafias from executing citizens of Mexico. It is a country in decline and will soon be like Somalia. If we don't stop wasteful spending here, drill for oil to turn the economy around and secure our borders against this invasion, we will soon be like Mexico.

S Robb @ 3/7/2011 4:41 PM

Would American Law Enforcement agents allow a foreign law enforcement agency to do in America what they are doing in Mexico?
If America would allow foreign agencies to participate in that way then they are not acting in a capacity of law enforcement, if they are, they ate acting beyond their jurisdiction...

S Robb @ 3/7/2011 4:44 PM

Face it, as law enforcement agents you become a target no matter what you do!

There are people in every country who hate authority figures with a passion...

Don't forget Mecico is a foreign nation

Jeffrey @ 3/7/2011 5:22 PM

You cops should enforce the constitutional laws on birth certificate of Obama and have him impeached. He's ruining you all!

H. Cooper @ 3/7/2011 6:18 PM

Someone clue S Robb to reality.

Point 1: When law enforcement officers come to the U.S. on official business, they may be armed.
Point 2: Crime and threats in Mexico and in the U.S. are quite different. Unless you know otherwise.

I don't get why we are in this apologetic relationship with Mexico. We give tons of foreign aid to them, we employ every one of them that come across the border, legally or otherwise, we birth their children in our hospitals...need I go on?! And they do exactly what for us????

If our Officers/Agents cannot carry in Mexico when on official duty they should not go there. We should not give all the aid that we do, and our president and his people need to get a clue.

Those agents are dead, there is no tomorrow for them or their can't fix that with speeches...especially speeches with the kind of information that our president is putting out.

Sheldon Cohen @ 3/7/2011 7:01 PM

The president and all his merry men are so far out of touch it is costing American LEO's life. Unfortunately, Obama, Daley, Bloomberg...all have lost perspective. It's not's criminals, wherever they exist. Wake up boys (and girls...Napolitano, et al)

Frank @ 3/7/2011 7:10 PM

Maybe the President would like to comment about the BATFE and the sting operation gone wrong that send hundreds of weapons including the Barrett 50 to the Cartels. Yet our Administration decides to blame US Citizens for the flood of guns when in fact its the BATF. What the Justice Department knows nothing about this operation? The Agents had to expose the operation because Senior BATFE management gave th go ahead to left the weapons across the border. Since when does the Government get involved in illegal gun running?

CBP AGENT @ 3/7/2011 8:37 PM

H. Cooper you nailed it on the head on ALL points (S. Robb)!

Michael @ 3/7/2011 8:41 PM

Well this is no surprise....Obama is so clueless and so is Napolitano. We are so worried about looking right to everyone that we are getting more FU by the day. I would refuse to go to mexico armed or not....all we do is pussy foot around at the border and in mexico. They don't take our advise and they really don't want it either. I have a friend that works for the Border Patrol. He gets so upset because he works his ass off and he says the border a joke. He said their hands are tied and they are under the watchful eye of the Goverment to do the right thing. I always tell him, look who is running the Goverment its all "FUBAR".

CBP AGENT @ 3/7/2011 8:54 PM

Should our soldiers be sent over to the middle East without any weapons? That questions would sound ridiculous to our government leaders. Why are Federal law enforcement agents and special agents not only allowed but FORCED to perform their duties unarmed? I believe some of the previous comments have answered that question. The former Iraqi government was bad becauseof it's actions in suppressing the people. IN MY OPINION, the Mexican government is no better because of it's LACK of actions, which is only being supported by our government!

DaveSam25G @ 3/7/2011 9:15 PM

The perfect storm in the border states with extended reach in the nation dateline "2011"…It’s not October 1991, out of Gloucester Mass on the sword-fishing boat Andrea Gail, or a confluence of weather conditions combined, it’s the cartels, gangs and terrorist elements that are forming a killer storm alliance in the South West and reaches at national level. It’s time we follow the advice I was taught coming up and like a sponge I listened from the veterans out there Law Enforcement and military. My term is “Take Action Listen & Learn (TALL)”… I grew up in a border state and I can tell you it’s there and getting worse each day, week, and year. Denial is only adding elements to this clearly brewing battle or like the Andrea Gail we will not make the wave surely ready to strike! I pray each day they return to their families as I have lost far too many brothers and sisters to-date! I have never retired!

Bruce Clyne @ 3/8/2011 2:11 AM

Intellegence operations for law enforcement is a little recognised task but it involves great risk and may lead to the ultimate sacrifice. My heart goes out to the officers and their families. The need goes on and somone will step into their shoes. We may never know the good they have done but should we continue their work? Only the fruits of their labor can answer that question.

AimFire @ 3/8/2011 3:34 AM

Friends, i agree all around, and i think we all do (Marine Expeditionary Force included) and here's the deal: this is news, the FLEOS. Make sure it gets to your local media outlets. All United Ways have a media list -- get one (current) from a friend at a local nonprofit. Print the article. Fax it to them. If you know how, draft a press release to accompany the article here. The public i know hates this crap. Let's make sure they know. My contacts know that this border war is "Coming soon to a spot way too close to you!" Most folks have a dawning realization that MS13, etc., is connected to all this. Our people should never be disarmed. Period. Least of all for US to help THEM. My eye.

John Rickert @ 3/8/2011 6:44 AM

Funny, our role in Iraq was to "advise" Iraqi Police. Yet nobody ever told us that we were there only to advise, as we roled in with full combat loads.

BT @ 3/8/2011 1:50 PM

What a political wimp! What an Obamanation! God help the US get its balls back!

Pablo @ 3/9/2011 4:36 PM

Perhaps our Federal Law Enforcement Officers should rise to the occasion and arrest the most dangerous crook in America.


Charlie @ 3/9/2011 5:46 PM

Not only is Obama a threat to the American people, a clown to world leaders, a threat to the state of Israel, a liar and a Chicago politician, a racist and a racebaiter, guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, a left wing extremist and socialist, a narcisist and pathetic excuse for a human being, he is also a threat to federal police officers. Pity the people around him who everyday. Must be like fingernails on a blackboard.

R Sutton @ 3/30/2011 6:07 AM

Obama is clueless. What would you expect from a foreign student

that is an overstay.

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