By Lillian Reid
Arizona State University Special to The Verde Independent
Less than 12 hours after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Nicholas Ivie was shot and killed on Oct. 2 outside of Bisbee, Ariz., U.S. Marshal David Gonzales said the Mexican mafia is the biggest threat that Arizonans face on a daily basis.
Ivie’s death, the fourth agent in two years, is putting Arizona back in the spotlight for border and immigration issues.
According to Gonzales, attention given to immigration is draining resources that could otherwise be used to address increasingly important issues on the border, such as violence stemming from the Mexican mafia, many of whom are U.S. citizens.
The U.S./Mexico border has been flooded with Border Patrol agents since 2004. In Arizona alone,. the number of agents increased from around 200 to 4,000. This increase in Border Patrol shifted the burden onto the U.S. Marshal’s Office and the court system but didn’t solve the problem they were trying to address, which was immigration, said Gonzales, who is in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.