Data Shows Assaults on Border Agents Are Rising As Use of Force Drops

Brittany M. Hughes | November 26, 2018
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Left-wing pundits and overnight immigration experts are out in full force this week decrying the use of force by border agents to deter mobs of Central American migrants who broke through a section of U.S. border fence and attacked border patrol with rocks and bottles. While would-be illegal aliens apparently get a pass for chucking projectiles at U.S. law enforcement, the use of non-lethal tear gas against the violent hoard is apparently beyond the pale for leftists who'd just as soon do away with borders altogether.

But despite leftist talking points, according to the actual data, the Trump administration's Nazi-esque border agents are much more likely to be assaulted while on duty than to use force against an illegal alien.

According to data published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, between Oct 1, 2017 and August 31 of this year, border agents reported 471 “use of force” incidents in which they took physical measures against a person or a vehicle at the border or a point of entry. Of these, the vast majority involved non-lethal methods such as tear gas, batons and tasers, and only occurred in response to a border agent being threatened or attacked.

During that same time period, CBP reported a total of 721 individual assaults against border agents at or between points of entry.

And it’s a trend that hasn’t popped up overnight. In FY2017, for instance, CBP reports there were 847 assaults against border agents compared with just 459 situations in which agents used force (as opposed to individual uses of force, which counts every time a taser is discharged, for example).



Even as the number of assaults against border agents rises, the number of use of force incidents involving firearms has dropped from a high of 55 in FY12 to a low of 17 in FY17, a 69 percent decrease, CBP reports. Even with their lives on the line, agents are much more likely now to use less-than-lethal force against aggressive illegal aliens and drug runners. 

Total incidents involving use of force (both lethal and non-lethal) dropped 23 percent between 2016 and 2017, the last two full years on record. Over that same time frame, assaults against border agents skyrocketed 45 percent from 584 in 2016 to 847 in 2017.

The rise in assaults against border agents comes as the Trump administration attempts – despite left-wing efforts to the contrary – to crack down on illegal immigration between ports of entry at the Southwest U.S. border, even as acts of violence against border agents continue to rise. In the most recent incident over the weekend, border agents were pelted with rocks as they tried to apprehend an illegal alien who’d broken through a section of border fence before climbing a tree and setting it on fire.

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