As­saults on bor­der agents nearly dou­bled over 2016

The Washington Times Daily - - FROM PAGE ONE - BY STEPHEN DINAN

Even though il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion is down, vi­o­lence along the bor­der is up, with as­saults on U.S. Bor­der Pa­trol agents nearly dou­bling so far in 2017, the agency’s head told Congress on Wed­nes­day.

Agents have re­ported more than 550 as­saults through June 1, up from 300 as­saults at the same time last year, said Carla Provost, the act­ing chief of the Bor­der Pa­trol.

She re­counted the sta­tis­tics as a warn­ing dur­ing tes­ti­mony on gang ac­tiv­ity among the il­le­gal im­mi­grant pop­u­la­tion. She didn’t spec­u­late on what might be spurring the rise in as­saults, but it comes as the im­mi­gra­tion de­bate in the U.S. — and Mex­ico — heats up under Pres­i­dent Trump.

Bor­der Pa­trol agents face one of the most dan­ger­ous jobs in law en­force­ment, of­fi­cials say.

“Rock­ing” in­ci­dents, in which those on the Mex­i­can side of the bor­der toss large boul­ders over the fence to try to in­jure agents, are com­mon.

The is­sue has even bled into the de­bate over Mr. Trump’s pro­posed bor­der wall.

Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion, the agency that over­sees the Bor­der Pa­trol, is look­ing for plans that would al­low vis­i­bil­ity through to the Mex­i­can side, which helps pre­vent am­bush at­tacks.

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