An immigration reform legal watchdog group says that officials with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) admit that they do not track assaults against their officers and agents.
The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to ICE in early September 2016 asking for records from the fiscal year 2011 to the day ICE begins its search for records that were responsive to:
Any and all original records showing the number of offenses committed or attempted against ICE agents and non-agent staff by undocumented, or suspected, to be immigrants. Please include any and all details possible related to the offenses and associated harm caused.
The public-interest legal education and advocacy law firm and supporting organization of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said: “ICE could not find any documents that related to assaults committed against ICE agents.”
“This non-tracking policy’s a huge insult to victimized agents and their families,” said IRLI General Counsel Dale Wilcox.
National ICE Council President Christopher Crane confirmed the failure of ICE management to track these assaults in a phone conversation with Breitbart Texas.
Wilcox added, “This will surely change under President Trump, however.” He reasoned, “We’ve seen big strides in immigration transparency with the new administration, including the promise to report on sanctuary jurisdictions and illegal-alien crime. The only people that could be against such efforts are Obama-holdovers within DHS and anti-borders and anti-American extremists.”
In February, Breitbart Texas reported on an assault against an ICE immigration officer engaged in a targeted operation of arresting criminal aliens in Austin, Texas.
Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas from the Department of Justice’s Western District of Texas stated that Baltazar-Ramirez attempted to escape apprehension after the deportation officer placed him under arrest for being unlawfully present in the United States. The officer caught up with the man after about a 200-yard foot pursuit. The criminal complaint states that Hugo Baltazar-Ramirez then fought with the officer. He then began striking the officer’s head against the ground several times, causing injury that would require medical attention.
Baltazar-Ramirez later pleaded guilty to the assault. The Mexican national faces a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years, followed by deportation.
The failure to track these important statistics by ICE administrators contrasts sharply with reports regularly released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) tracking assaults against U.S. Border Patrol agents and CBP officers. Breitbart Texas reports regularly on these statistics and the assaults against law enforcement officials. The April CBP report shows a 120 percent increase in assaults against Border Patrol agents this fiscal year when compared to the same period in Fiscal Year 2016.
Brandon Darby, managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas reported on May 24 that the violence against U.S. Border Patrol agents is growing more violent. Smugglers linked to the Sinaloa Cartel and migrants in the Tucson sector are becoming more aggressive as penalties for their crimes become tougher. These human traffickers and their human cargo realize now that if they are caught they face almost certain prosecution and incarceration. They resort to violence to try to evade detention and escape.
On Saturday, Darby reported on the violent assault on an off-duty Border Patrol agent in New Mexico. The agent, assigned to the Deming Station in the El Paso Sector, was found badly beaten alongside a roadway with injuries to his head, chest, and hands, CBP officials stated.
Border Patrol Agent Art Del Cueto told Breitbart Texas in his role as National Border Patrol Council (NBPC):
The smugglers are definitely becoming more violent with our agents. They now try to evade arrest and even use force to get away from us where during the Obama years they would joke with us and not mind being caught. They knew, back then, that they would get away with violating our laws.
Agent Del Cueto continued, “We are talking about significant force and violence being used against our agents. Very recently, one smuggler slammed a large rock into the side of an agent’s head.”
And the escalating violence is not limited to the cartel’s drug smugglers, Agent Del Cueto stated. “Even the illegal aliens who aren’t smuggling dope are growing more violent as they now face consequences for illegally entering. Before they would be let go the next day or so, now they face incarceration for illegally entering. They are willing to do anything possible to evade us.”
Cuerto noted that the situation is a worry for agents. “It’s a concern because when we use force we are put under a microscope and everything we do is scrutinized by different investigative bodies. There was a culture of destroying the lives of Border Patrol agents during the past presidential administration and unfortunately, that culture hasn’t yet completely dissipated.”
Fiscal Year 2017 got off to a very rocky start in regard to assaults against Border Patrol agents. Breitbart Texas reported in late 2016 that nearly 150 U.S. Border Patrol agents were assaulted during the first two months of the new fiscal year which began October 1. The number revealed an increase of 230 percent plus over the same period in the fiscal year 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.
The numbers of CBP law enforcement agents and officers has been increasing for the past three years. Then-Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan first revealed these numbers during testimony before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee in November 2016, Breitbart News reported.
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.”
If asked by Congress or administration officials, management at ICE would not be able to provide this kind of information in order to protect its officers and agents.