When Donald Trump launched his bid for the presidency in 2015, there weren’t many pundits or political pros who saw his emphasis on illegal immigration being a path to the White House.
But 2018 is dawning with Trump in the Oval Office, and Border Patrol agents have high hopes that the administration’s hardline stance on immigration will make their jobs a little easier.
And after eight years of an Obama administration that either looked the other way or actually encouraged mass numbers of illegals to cross the border, it’s about time.
And it’s a welcome change – for the Border Patrol and the country it protects.
“From a border security perspective, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told Brian Kilmeade on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday.
There are two things Trump needs to do to make that potential come true, Judd told Kilmeade:
“Build the wall and hire more agents.”
Check out the interview here:
Both are already in the works. Trump has made congressional funding for his proposed border wall a key part of any congressional measure that would save the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
That was the patently unconstitutional executive order Obama issued in November of 2014 that allowed illegal immigrants to stay in the country without fear of deportation if they had been brought to the United States as children.
It’s near and dear to the Democrat heart, and Trump might be counting on that to use as leverage for his border wall initiative after he gave Congress six months to find a way to make DACA legal back in September.
More immediately, though, in January Trump issued an executive order for the Border Patrol to hire 5,000 more agents “as soon as is practicable.”
The agency has struggled to find applicants that can pass its stringent quality controls – including a lie-detector test – but Judd said that snafu will be dealt with.
Now, as Trump begins his first full calendar year in office, the combination of negotiations for the wall and progress toward hiring more agents could go far toward keeping one of the signature promises of his presidency.
“Criminals, like water, take the path of least resistance. When you beef up one area and you leave another area open, you’re susceptible to the crime going to that area,” Judd said. “So, we have to take a holistic approach to border security.”
It looks like Trump is taking that approach, the question is whether Democrats will get on board.
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