A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent was assaulted near Eagle Pass, Texas, while he arrested a Mexican illegal alien and convicted drug-dealing felon who was previously deported several times, the government announced.
The assault comes as border-jumpers and human traffickers are becoming emboldened on the nation’s increasingly lawless southern border. Democrat resistance to President Trump’s plan to erect a border wall and lawmakers’ refusal to properly fund immigration enforcement efforts have no doubt made the already-dangerous border situation worse.
Mark Morgan, then head of the U.S. Border Patrol and now President Trump’s nominee to head U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), told a congressional committee in September 2016 that Border Patrol agents “are among the most assaulted law enforcement personnel in the country.”
“There have been 7,542 assaults against agents since 2006, and 30 agents have died in the line of duty since 2003,” Morgan said at the time.
Meanwhile, border arrests have reached their highest level in 12 years, Nate Madden reports at Conservative Review.
In April alone, more than 109,000 individuals were arrested at the U.S. southern border, and over the past week Border Patrol agents in Texas alone have taken some 5,500 illegals per day into custody. The 109,000-figure for April was higher than the 103,000-figure for March and the 76,000-figure for February. There are at least 1.9 million known criminal aliens now in U.S. jails.
Over 1 percent of the entire populations of Guatemala and Honduras have entered the U.S. in the current fiscal year which began Oct. 1, 2018, according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The latest assault took place May 12, according to CBP.
The 44-year-old Mexican man had been arrested several times by U.S. immigration officials and was deported from the United States in 2000. The individual, who was not identified, had an extensive U.S. criminal history in the United States, including an aggravated felony conviction in 1998 on multiple counts of transporting and selling narcotics, for which he received a four-year prison sentence.
“Acts of violence against our agents will not be tolerated,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Randy Davis. “This incident is an example of the threats faced by U.S. Border Patrol agents as they work to secure the border.”
The person now faces a charge under 18 USC § 111 – assault on a federal officer – and 8 USC § 1326 – reentry after deportation, which both carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Border Patrol agents had been following a group of suspected illegal aliens near an immigration checkpoint on a highway. As agents attempted to take the suspects into custody, one of the men struck an agent. The agent subdued the man and arrested him after a brief struggle. The illegal was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.
The assault in Texas came after a half dozen Mexican soldiers crossed into U.S. territory on April 13 and temporarily detained two U.S. Army soldiers from Washington State deployed to the border as part of President Trump’s Southwest border mission first ordered in October 2018. The U.S. soldiers were north of the Rio Grande near Clint, Texas, when they were ordered out of their vehicle at gunpoint. Apparently, the Mexicans believed incorrectly that the Americans were on the Mexican side of the boundary.
According to a Newsweek report:
Speaking in Spanish, the Mexican soldiers instructed the sergeant and the private to move to the front of their vehicle, where they were “gently searched," according to the incident report. The sergeant’s service pistol, the Beretta M9, was removed from his hip by the soldiers and thrown inside the U.S. government vehicle.
The U.S. soldiers reported they did not see “any identifiable seals or symbols” on the Mexicans' vehicle and “could not identify any patches or name tapes on the uniform except for the Mexican flags.”
The Trump administration plans to keep the military at the U.S.-Mexican border for the foreseeable future.
“We’re not going to leave until the border is secure,” Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said May 11 at the McAllen Border Patrol Station in Texas.
“This isn’t about identifying a problem. It’s about fixing a problem more quickly.”
Shanahan told Congress a few days ago that there are 4,364 troops on the border, including active-duty and National Guard. Soldiers are building barriers and assisting the Border Patrol and are supposed to remain in place through September.
Chances are they’ll be at the border long past September.