News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Border agents bigger targets for violence

Mimi Hall
Feb. 27, 2008
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON - Violence against government agents working along the U.S.-Mexican border is escalating in response to government efforts to crack down on illegal drug- and human-smuggling rings, Homeland Security officials say.

Since 2004, the number of assaults has more than doubled, from 384 that year to 987 in fiscal 2007. And this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, is set to significantly outpace the last one. There have been 409 reported assaults so far this year compared with 275 during the same period last year.

Most of the assaults involve "rockings," in which drug and human smugglers throw rocks, bricks and other objects at agents.

But Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said more serious incidents have been reported.

"We've had occasions of people shooting at agents, trying to run agents down with vehicles, throwing large rocks or pieces of brick or concrete at agents, which actually can be fatal, and I've seen some pretty serious injuries that have resulted from it," he said. "The levels have consistently increased."

He said the escalation is the result of stepped-up enforcement that aims to put smugglers out of business. Since the 9/11 attacks raised fears of terrorists slipping into the United States across its land borders, Homeland Security has nearly doubled the size of the Border Patrol; 18,000 agents will be on the job by year's end.

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