The author of the bestselling Rambo book, First Blood, which inspired the film franchise, stuck up for ICE agents in the wake of a New York Times report about sinking morale at the agency.
The Times article revealed agents are increasingly subjects to taunts of "kid killer," and other harassment. A border patrol agent in Tucson, Ariz., said he had been called a "sellout" and a "kid killer" by people who opposed ICE. Another agent in El Paso, Texas, said he and his colleagues in uniform had stopped eating together with the exception of "BP friendly" restaurants due to "the possibility of them spitting in your food."
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With the release of Rambo: Last Blood in theaters on Friday, the New York Sun spoke to Morrell on the phone earlier in the week about Rambo. When they mentioned the New York Times story about the border patrol agents experiencing a "morale" crisis, he interjected to cut them off and said, "I’m with you on this," according to the Sun editorial board.
Morrell said he had read the same article and was disgusted at the epithet about "kid killer." This epithet is similar to one that was used in Morrell's book. In a famous monologue at the end of the first Rambo movie, which is based off Morrell's book, Rambo reflects on how he was called a "baby killer" when he returned home from the Vietnam War.
"Nothing is over. Nothing," Rambo said. "You just don’t turn it off. It wasn’t my war. You asked me. I didn’t ask you. And I did what I had to do to win. But somebody wouldn’t let us win. And I come back to the world and see those maggots at the airport protesting me, spittin’, callin’ me ‘Baby Killer’ and all kinds of vile crap."
The hostility towards border patrol has increased over the last two years as the Trump administration has cracked down on illegal immigration by apprehending hundreds of thousands of people crossing the southwestern border.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) have repeatedly said the Trump administration represented a threat due to the administration's "weaponization" of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). They have also called for ICE to be abolished.