A new report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) details the continued increase in assaults on Border Patrol agents over last year. Assaults against agents are 92 percent higher compared to Fiscal Year 2016.
The CBP report states that 558 agents have been assaulted in the performance of their duty since October 1, 2016. During the month of May alone, 29 agents were attacked. In contrast, during this fiscal year, only 27 CBP Office of Field Operations and seven Air and Marine Operations officers were assaulted.
Agents regularly conveyed to Breitbart Texas their frustration over the lack of prosecution in cases of assault. Frequently, matters are not pursued unless the agent requires hospital treatment, they expressed.
To combat rising assaults, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans to increase the number of prosecutions. In a memo dated April 11, Sessions directed prosecutors to push for charges against anyone who assaults, resists, or impedes agents engaging in the performance of their official duties, Breitbart Texas reported.
The current report does not include the violent assault and kidnapping of an off-duty Border Patrol agent, a story first reported by Breitbart Texas last week. Following that attack, Border Patrol officials advised agents to “remain vigilant and maintain a heightened level of awareness.” The FBI is looking for Sergio Ivan Quinonez-Venegas in connection with the kidnapping and assault of the agent, Breitbart Texas reported. Quinonez is reported to be connected to a Mexican drug cartel.
On May 25, Border Patrol Agent Isaac Morales died from injuries sustained in another violent assault allegedly carried out by another cartel-connected man, Hisaias Justo Lopez, 39. Morales was also off duty at the time of the attack and had just left a bar with his wife and two friends. Morales was stabbed multiple times including a fatal wound to his eye that severed his brain stem.
A few days after this attack, an off-duty CBP officer had to use deadly force to defend himself against three teenage assailants attempting to rob him. The officer used his handgun and wounded two of the assailants after they beat him about his head.
Illegal immigrants became increasingly aggressive in the months following the election of President Donald Trump and his implementation of executive orders on border enforcement.
“Apprehension levels began to decrease as law, policy, and strategy aligned. Unfortunately, we are now seeing an increase in assaults against our agents,” Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. said in a written statement in March. “Attacks against agents will not be tolerated and we will work to pursue prosecution against violators.”