Around 59 Border Patrol agents have said they have gotten sick because of exposure to toxic chemicals and sewage dumped at the U.S.-Mexican border, according to Fox News.
Mexico has dumped millions of gallons of toxic chemicals and raw sewage into the Tijuana River, which surrounds valleys and beaches along the border. However, the Fox News report said that the U.S. has taken little action to get Mexico to clean up the area.
One Border Patrol agent told Fox News he had to stop patrolling the area on an ATV. "I like doing what I do, but now it has come to a point that every night I have headaches and every day I have headaches and nasal pain and I had to stop," said Joe Sevilla.
One agent got severe chemical burns on his feet when chemicals burned through his boots, according to the U.S. Border Patrol Local 1613 Union, in the Fox News report.
The union’s leaders blame U.S. agencies, Congress, and the International Boundary and Water Commission for not addressing the pollution. Local officials and the Border Patrol are taking aim at the IBWC, Fox News reported.
"It is going to get to the point where they cannot patrol down there. That is a national security issue," said Christopher Harris, the union’s secretary.
"If a judge rules that our agents cannot work in that area, we are going to cede this back to no man’s land," Harris said in the Fox News report. That would leave the area open to Mexican cartels to smuggle fugitives, Harris said.