Violent assaults on the men and women who protect America's southern border are on the rise.

The focus on better border security (search) has made it much harder to cross into the United States undetected, making criminals who earn their money transporting drugs and people over the border more and more desperate.

FOX News interviewed two agents who are the latest victims in an increasingly violent conflict. Both asked to remain anonymous.

"The passenger rolled the window down and shot at me with a handgun," Border Agent No. 1 said, recalling a recent incident.

Border Agent No. 2 said: "The man with an AK-47 (search) threw a burst of rounds through the door of the white pickup truck and then drew his fire out to us."

"I kind of look at stuff different now," said the first agent. "When a car's on the south side coming down, anytime I make a vehicle stop, that is always in the back of my mind, 'What if this guy has a gun?'"

In the last six months, agents in the Tucson, Ariz., sector reported an assault every two days, and nine shootings — twice as many as in the same period last year. And while no agent has been killed, the danger underscores the high-stakes game played out daily on the 2,000-mile Mexican border (search), with millions of dollars on the line.

And with Mexico openly helping its citizens cross the U.S. border, lax U.S. immigration policy (search) encouraging illegals to come and the lure of easy money from drugs, border agents know the problem is one they're going to need to get used to.

"It's hard, but I chose the job. It's just something that we have to do," said Agent No. 2.

Click on the video box above for a complete report by FOX News' William LaJeunesse.