WASHINGTON D.C. (The Washington Examiner) – New government data shows a record-high 671 Border Patrol agents have been assaulted this fiscal year while on the job.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 720 total assaults against its Border Patrol, Air and Marine Operations, and Office of Field Operations teams since Fiscal Year 2017 started Oct. 1, 2016. Last year, 585 total assaults against the agency’s three branches were documented.
Border agents by far bore the brunt of the attacks.
The total number of assaults specifically against Border patrol is up 167 percent since the same period last year, when 403 assaults were reported. The current fiscal year ends in a few weeks, at the end of September.
Despite the increasing rate of assaults on immigration and customs officials, the agency is using force against attackers at a lower rate than last year. Officers from all three agencies used force in 416 instances in the current fiscal year compared to 543 times in the same time frame a year earlier. The majority of those instances did not involve firearms.
Assaults have been on the rise since earlier this year and surpassed last year’s total number of attacks in the first eight months of fiscal year 2017.
The number of illegal immigrants apprehended at the border fell in the first few months of President Trump’s presidency, but has increased over the last several months.