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Urging State Department for Protection

For Immediate Release

Rep. Grimm leads House Colleagues in Urging State Department to Protect U.S. Federal Law Enforcement in Mexico Letter sent to Clinton urging that U.S. agents in dangerous countries must be armed

WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, Congressman Michael Grimm (R,C-NY) led an effort to urge U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to work with the Mexican government to provide American federal law enforcement agents with permits to carry weapons. The letter to the Secretary comes after two unarmed U.S. agents were attacked by a criminal cartel. Special Agent Jaime Zapata was murdered and Special Agent Victor Avila was seriously injured. The Mexican government prohibits our agents working in Mexico from being armed, a policy that President Obama has announced he supports after a closed-door meeting with Mexican President Calderon earlier this month.

"As a former FBI agent, I know how crucial it is to be armed in dangerous situations," said Rep. Grimm. "It is absolutely unacceptable for our government to send U.S. federal law enforcement agents into dangerous countries unarmed, where they are targets for attack. Siding with the Mexican government over the safety of American agents is outrageous, which is why I am urging the Secretary of State to work with the Mexican government to issue permits allowing our agents to carry the necessary weapons to defend themselves."

"We understand the inherent risks of the law enforcement profession, but we can't reconcile sending unarmed agents to Mexico," said Jon Adler, President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA). "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."

Rep. Grimm was joined by 33 House colleagues in signing the letter including former FBI agent and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, as well as Reps. Adams, Bartlett, Barton, Bilbray, Broun, Burton, Canseco, Coble, Ellmers, Fitzpatrick, Flores, Franks, Gosar, Gowdy, King (IA), Labrador, LaTourette, Long, Lungren, Marino, McCotter, Miller (MI), Nunes, Poe, Posey, Reed, A. Scott (GA), Simpson, Tiberi, Walberg, Westmoreland, and Young.