Nearly 150 U.S. Border Patrol agents have been assaulted during the first two months of the new fiscal year which began October 1. The number represents an increase of more than 230 percent over the same period in FY 2016.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials reported 149 Border Patrol agents were assaulted in October and November. During that same period in 2015, 45 agents were assaulted. This represents an increase of 104 assaults in the two-months compared (231 percent), CBP officials reported on Monday. The numbers of CBP law enforcement agents and officers has been increasing for the past three years.
Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan first revealed these numbers during testimony before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee in November, Breitbart News reported. Acknowledging the more that 200 percent increase in assaults on agents this year, Morgan testified that Border Patrol agents are “the most assaulted federal law enforcement (agents) in the United States. More than 7,400 Border Patrol agents have been assaulted since 2006. That rose in FY 16 by 20%, and year-to-date, we’re seeing an increase of assaults of 200% from the previous year-to-date. It’s a dangerous job.”
The increase of assaults comes during a period where CBP officials have been pushing for a reduction in the use of force by Border Patrol agents. The use of force statistics are broken down into three categories in the CBP report. Those categories are: Firearm, Less-Lethal Device, and Other. The use of force by agents for the first two months of this fiscal year are down in all three categories. Use of force by Border Patrol agents decreased by nearly 13 percent during this period. At the same time, assaults on agents increased by more than 200 percent.
Last week, a Border Patrol agent in Arizona was forced to use his sidearm to defend himself after an illegal alien reportedly assaulted him with the agent’s collapsible steel baton. The illegal alien obtained control of the weapon during a struggle where he was attempting to escape from being arrested, CBP officials stated. The agent was not injured in the assault. The suspected illegal alien was wounded in the leg and taken to a Tucson hospital where he was treated for a “non-life threatening wound.”
Shortly before that, Border Patrol agents working on the Rio Grande River in Texas on Thanksgiving Day were assaulted by Mexican nationals throwing rocks at the agents from the Mexican side of the river. Fortunately, none of the agents were injured in the attack. The Mexican nationals quickly fled the scene.
That same week, a Border Patrol agent assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Sector and a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper were shot by someone from the Mexican side of the border. The shooting likely occurred during a gun battle in Mexico. It is not definitively known if the American law enforcement officers were targeted or struck by stray bullets. The agent was shot in the chest, but his protective armor saved his life. The trooper was struck in the leg and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was expected to fully recover from his wound.
The largest numbers of assaults on agents comes in the Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas and the El Centro Sector in southern California. During the first month of the new fiscal year, eight assaults of Border Patrol agents occurred in the El Centro station. On October 30, an agent was injured when he was struck in the eye by an illegal alien using his elbow as a weapon. Other agents in that sector have been struck by rocks and concrete blocks as well.
“We will not tolerate assaults on our agents by criminals, and will vigorously pursue Assault on a Federal Officer prosecution against anyone who perpetrates such violence,” Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim said in a written statement at the time.
Border Patrol agents have told Breitbart Texas this is not necessarily true. Agents have said that unless an agent is severely injured, charges of assaulting the federal agent are often not prosecuted.
Even when prosecuted and convicted, sentences handed down on these cases tends to be less severe than similar assaults on other law enforcement officers. Breitbart Texas reported in June about two Salvadoran illegal immigrants who were sentenced to 27 months and 63 months in prison for assaulting a Border Patrol agent in Texas.
Border Patrol agents are frequently assaulted by rock throwers from Mexico, Breitbart Texas Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Brandon Darby reported in April 2014. Many of these assaults lead to serious injury or even death for the agents. “The reality being far from the false narrative of ‘kids throwing pebbles,’” Darby reported, “the life-threatening rock attacks against Border Patrol agents often occur in remote areas when a solitary Border Patrol agent may be up to a 90-minute drive from their nearest backup.” The article reveals photographic proof of many of the injuries received by agents during these assaults and the size of the “rocks” used in the assaults.
The majority of assaults on CBP law enforcement officers and agents are carried out against Border Patrol agents. The total assaults against CBP officers and agents rose from 373 in FY 2014, to 477 in in FY 2015 and again in FY 2016 to 585. During the first two months of FY 2017, 159 assaults have been carried out on these law enforcement officers and agents.
Breitbart Texas continues to report on the frequent attacks on these agents who defend our borders.