Press Release

Congressmen Gonzales, Cuellar Hold Bipartisan Press Conference on Rising Suicide Rates at CBP

Washington | Arturo Olivarez, DC Press Secretary (956-970-1441), December 7, 2022

WASHINGTON D.C.—Congressman Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23) and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) on Wednesday held a bipartisan press conference in honor of the 14 fallen U.S. Customs officers and Border Protection (CBP) agents who have committed suicide this year. The conference focused on the importance of increasing funding and access to mental health resources at CBP.

“These 14 CBP agents who have taken their own life are not numbers on a paper. These are real people impacted. Their families have been turned upside down,” said Congressman Gonzales. “In Washington there's a lot of division, but there's also things that should unite us. I am thankful for each and every member from both sides of the aisle who came out today to raise awareness on this critical issue.”

“As a lifelong resident of the border, I know firsthand the value of Border Patrol agents and their important role in keeping border communities safe. They are our neighbors, our friends, and our family,” said Congressman Cuellar. “14 Border Patrol agents committed suicide this year. That is more than any other year since 2007, when CBP first started tracking suicides. As a senior Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, I have worked with Congressman Tony Gonzales to deliver $23 million in FY22, and an additional $23 million in FY23 to address behavioral health challenges within CBP. That was on top of added language to ensure CBP employees who utilize behavioral health services are not adversely affected solely by their request for assistance. I look forward to continue working with Congressman Tony Gonzales and this bipartisan group in the 118th Congress to deliver more resources for the men and women in green across South Texas.”

Other press conference participants included: Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council, Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY-11), Darren Soto (D-FL-09), Susie Lee (D-NV-03), Mayra Flores (R-TX-34), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-08), and Congresswoman-Elect Monica De La Cruz (R-TX-14).