The president pushed his plan for a wall between the United States and Mexico on Monday after one Border Patrol agent was killed and another injured while working Sunday in southern Texas.
Speaking to reporters at the beginning of a cabinet meeting, he called America’s southern border ‘very dangerous’ and ‘rough territory,’ saying ‘that’s where the drugs are coming in.’
‘We are going to have the wall. It’s part of what we are doing. We need it,’ the president declared.
Authorities said Agent Rogelio Martinez and his Big Bend Sector partner were responding to activity near Interstate 10 in the Van Horn Station area when they were both attacked.
‘As you heard, we lost a Border Patrol officer just yesterday,’ Trump said, ‘and another one was brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt. It looks like he’ll make it, but very, very badly hurt.’
He tweeted on Sunday that the U.S. ‘will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!’
Trump also repeated his claim that his presidency has led to a substantial drop in the number of illegal immigrants pouring into the U.S. from the south.
‘You see the numbers, they’re back to 78 per cent down from what they were,’ he said. ‘And those numbers will get better and better, but we have to stop the massive drug flow from pouring in.’
While Martinez lay dying on Sunday, his partner reported that they were both injured and in need of assistance.
Responding agents provided immediate medical care, and transported them both to a hospital.
Officials said they are now searching the Big Bend area of Texas for potential suspects and witnesses.
Border Patrol spokesmen said they could not provide any details on what caused the agent’s injuries or what led to them, but a National Border Patrol Council official told KTSM in El Paso that the assailants were ‘undocumented immigrants’ who used likely used rocks to beat the agents.
‘We strongly believe rocks were what was used,’ NBPC Vice President Art Del Cueto told the station.
The FBI has taken over the investigation into the fatal incident near the US-Mexico border. An agency official from the El Paso office confirmed that Martinez and his partner ‘were not fired upon.’
Martinez had been a border agent since August 2013 and was from El Paso.