The number of attacks, on border agents, that have occurred in the first two months of the new fiscal year set the statistics at a huge spike. The increase from FY 2016, over the same time period, is at 230%. We needed a stronger border yesterday.
By Bob Price
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.
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.