Assaults against border agents are up 179 percent over this time last year, according to recently released data from Customs and Border Protection.
A total of 442 assaults on border personnel were reported in the five months between Oct. 1 and Feb. 28, averaging out to about three assaults per day. Not surprisingly, the majority of these attacks (413, to be exact) have been against agents assigned to patrolling the Southwest U.S. border in between ports of entry.
Comparably, only 148 assaults had been reported against border agents during the same time frame last year.
CBP officials noted that a large portion of these assaults occurred on Valentines Day, when seven agents were assaulted by six “subjects” launching rocks, bottles and logs. Officials noted that 126 individual assaults were recorded from that single incident, along with 12 uses of force.
Another 26 assaults have been reported so far against personnel with the Office of Field Operations, the agency tasked with monitoring U.S. points of entry. That’s up 44 percent from the 18 assaults reported over the same time frame last year.
To give some perspective, a total of 585 assaults against border personnel were reported in all of FY2016 – a total that will easily be surpassed this year if this disturbing trend continues. The number of assaults reported so far this year have already surpassed the total recorded for all of FY2013, and are close to surpassing FY2015’s total of 477.
While the number of assaults against border agents continues to skyrocket at incredible rates, the data shows agents' recorded uses of force have risen by a disproportionate 29 percent, while the number of uses of force with a lethal device has dropped by more than half.