Suicide Among Border Patrol Agents on the Rise

A recent report by the Associated Press highlighted a disturbing trend among Border Patrol agents. It seems that suicides have drastically increased recently. At least 15 agents have killed themselves since February 2008, equaling the largest spike at the law enforcement agency in more than 20 years.

While some Border Patrol officials and families of deceased agents point to the heightened tensions patrolling an area that has grown more dangerous in recent years, others say the recent surge in hiring has resulted in mind-numbingly boring days of sitting idly in a car for 8-12 hours. But active Border Patrol agents say their jobs are anything but boring.

Julia Monsivais committed suicide in July 2009, at the age of 24, after serving for three years. Her father Mark rejects the boredom argument, telling the AP, "It's transparent to us, the people that are here, that the job is a definite factor. They're under an enormous amount of stress." He says people hurled concrete at her while she worked her post in Yuma, AZ, and that she constantly worried about drug traffickers and found dehydrated migrants near death in the desert.

"If they do something wrong, it's an international incident," concluded Mark.