DHS Oversight Looks At 'Unreliable' Border Assault Numbers, Decides Under-Reporting Is The Problem
from the fake-numbers,-fake-news dept
The DHS says assaults on CBP and Border Patrol officers have been steadily increasing since 2015, with a 46.3% surge in violence against officers in 2017 alone. Sure, it fits the current narrative that undocumented immigrants are inherently dangerous. But is it true? Not even remotely.
The CBP and Border Patrol are using new math to report assaults, allowing the DHS to portray patrolling the border as far more dangerous than it actually is. The Intercept exposed the bogus math earlier this year, thanks to a CBP official’s inadvertently frank admission the numbers were incredibly inflated.
Almost the entire increase — 271 purported assaults — was said to have occurred in one sector, the Rio Grande Valley, in South Texas. A large number of the assaults supposedly occurred on a single day, according to charts and details provided by Christiana Coleman, a CBP public affairs spokesperson. In response to questions from The Intercept, Coleman explained in an email that “an incident in the Rio Grande Valley Sector on February 14, 2017, involved seven U.S. Border Patrol Agents assaulted by six subjects utilizing three different types of projectiles (rocks, bottles, and tree branches), totaling 126 assaults.”
What should have been classified as six or seven assaults at the most was recast as 126 assaults during a single incident. This should have prompted some Congressional concern about the CBP’s reporting processes. It didn’t. Instead, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs “expressed concern” about the perceived increase in assaults and asked the DHS Inspector General to get to the bottom of it.
This “concern” predated the Intercept’s exposure of the bogus math, so it might explain why the IG believes under-reporting might be the problem, rather than the Jesus-like ability to feed hundreds of dangerous foreigner narratives using only a couple of larger altercations. The report [PDF] says the numbers are “unreliable,” but doesn’t focus on the real reason the yearly assault totals are suddenly increasing after a period of steady decline.
Here are the numbers since 2010:
And here’s what the IG feels the problem is.
In response to a request from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs for information on assaults on CBP and ICE law enforcement officers, we determined that, from fiscal years 2010 to 2017, the number of assaults against CBP law enforcement officers decreased from 1,089 to 856. During the same time period, assaults of ICE law enforcement officers remained the same at 48. However, the data does not show a clear trend over that time period and the number of assaults varied widely from year to year. Our analysis also shows that, for a number of reasons, the data is unreliable and does not accurately reflect whether assaults have increased or decreased. For example, although both components introduced new reporting systems in FY 2016, law enforcement officers continue to use informal methods instead to document assaults and remain unfamiliar with these reporting systems. Further, the officers do not always report acts of physical resistance or attempted assaults, even when required to do so.
Unsurprisingly, the DHS, CBP, Border Patrol, and ICE are all willing to take steps to increase the number of reported assaults. If these agencies can gain the sympathies of Congressional committees by inflating numbers and over-reporting assaults, they have everything to gain. The recommendations include more training for officers to help them recognize assaults and expanding the definition of assault to include “physical touch” or resisting arrest. If someone picks up a rock or tree branch but never uses it against an officer, that’s also an assault.
This should ensure the number of reported assaults continues to increase, shoring up the administration’s fear-based immigration platform. Adding the expanded “assault” definition to the CBP’s bogus math, a single subject resisting arrest has “assaulted” every officer involved in the takedown, whether they were injured or not. The CBP’s force multiplier can turn one strenuous arrest into a half-dozen assaults and “concerned” Congressional committees can take it from there.
The use of bogus multiplication is completely ignored in this report. Someone in Congress needs to send a letter to the IG telling the office to take a look at the sketchy math behind the “unreliable” numbers. CBP et al can’t be trusted to tell the truth about officer safety until this has received a thorough examination.