At least 687 assaults against agents were reported during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, up from the previous year's total of 354 and the highest since the agency began tracking assaults across the Southwest border in the late 1990s, according to Border Patrol officials.
If the United States built a border barrier along the entire length of the border that was far more substantial then fewer would try to cross and the violence would decline. Half-way measures will be contested. Effective measures would intimidate the bulk of the smugglers out of trying to cross at all.
Gunshot incidents are rising rapidly.
In Tucson and San Diego, the most violent sectors, agents reported being shot at 43 times — up from 18 the previous year. No agents were killed, but three were shot in the leg. At least 20 more were hospitalized, many with head injuries from rocks.
Officials interviewed by the LA Times reporter claim the violence is a response to tougher border enforcement.
"They're feeling they have to fight their way through now," said Agent Jim Hawkins, a spokesman for the agency's Tucson sector. "We're taking their livelihood away from them, so they're getting angry and desperate."
A border barrier along the entire US-Mexico border would solve this problem. Using Israel's West Bank barrier as a guide the cost would be between $2 bilion and $8 billion.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2005 October 31 01:34 PM Immigration Border Control|