Assaults on Border Patrol agents fell by 17 percent this fiscal year when compared to the same period last year. This is the first time since 2014 where the numbers fell from one year to the next. The decrease appears to coincide with announcements from the Justice Department that assaults on Border Patrol agents will be aggressively prosecuted.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials announced this week that the number of Border Patrol agents assaulted in the line of duty fell during Fiscal Year 2018 by 17 percent when compared to the same period in FY 2017. Between October 1, 2017, and May 31, 2018, Border Patrol agents were assaulted 464 times, officials stated.
The 464 agents assaulted during the first eight months of this fiscal year is down from 559 during the same period in FY 2017, the report states.
Fiscal Year 2017 was the worst year for assaults on law enforcement officers and agents working under the CBP umbrella in the past six years included in the report. Officials reported that 847 officers and agents were assaulted — up from 584 the previous year. So far this fiscal year, 540 agents and officers have been assaulted in the line of duty.
Assaults on CBP Office of Field Operations officers jumped by more than 80 percent this fiscal year. The number of officers assaulted jumped from 27 in FY 2017 YTD numbers to 49 this year. Assaults on Air and Marine Operations agents jumped by 238 percent (from eight in FY17 to 27 in FY18 YTD reports).
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised swift and sure prosecution for any migrant assaulting an agent during an April 2017 speech to agents and CBP officers in Arizona, Breitbart Texas reported.
Under Sessions’ memorandum issued that same day, the AG promised, “Prosecution to the extent practicable cases of assault, resisting, or impeding officers engaged in the performance of their duties in administrative and criminal immigration enforcement.”
Shortly after the announcement, the increasing rate of assaults began to slow and in the first eight months of FY18 the number of assaults began to fall.
Assaults continue on Border Patrol agents as, earlier this month, an agent assigned to the Tucson Sector was shot multiple times, Breitbart Texas reported. Sources working under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Breitbart Texas that the shooting occurred between 3:30 and 4:30 Tuesday morning in the Chimney Canyon area located southeast of Aravaca.
Protective body armor saved the agent from receiving serious injuries as he took rounds in the chest and back. The agent is expected to recover from the hand and knee injuries received in the assault carried out by multiple assailants.
Agents assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Sector also became a victim of an assault when a group of migrants smuggling marijuana into the U.S. began throwing rocks at them. The agents managed to avoid being struck by the rocks and recovered the marijuana abandoned by the smugglers who fled back across the river.