In Huge Surprise News Conference, Border Patrol Leaders Endorse Gov't Shutdown To Get Wall
In a surprise appearance in the White House news room, members of the National Border Patrol Council — the largest union of Border Patrol members — endorsed the president’s partial shutdown of the government over border fence funding and sent a two-word message: “Walls work.”
While the president didn’t take questions during the Thursday event, it did mark his first appearance before the media in the James S. Brady Press Briefing room — and, while Nancy Pelosi was being elected speaker over on Capitol Hill, the president and his allies were making their case for their side in the shutdown battle.
Appearing with several members of the NBPC, Trump called them “people I’ve known very well over the last two years, people that have been extremely supportive of what we’re doing on the border.
“They’re tough, they’re smart, they think, they love our country,” Trump said. “They have every quality.”
Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, was described by the president as “a stalwart in terms of justice for people, in terms of fairness, and in terms of the toughness you need. You have some pretty tough situations. It doesn’t get much tougher.”
Judd returned the favor: “We really appreciate all the support that you’ve given the Border Patrol. We appreciate the support that you’ve given ICE,” Judd said.
“I’ve been a Border Patrol agent for 21 years,” Judd said.
“I can personally tell you, from the work that I have done on the southwest border, that physical barriers, that walls actually work. You hear a lot of talk from the expert that — you hear a lot of talk that there are experts that say that walls don’t work. I promise you that if you interview Border Patrol agents, they will tell you that walls work.”
He then gave an example out of his own experience.
“I worked in Naco, Arizona for 10 years. We didn’t have physical barriers in Naco, and illegal immigration and drug smuggling was absolutely out of control. We built those walls, those physical barriers, and illegal immigration dropped exponentially.
“Anywhere that you look, where we have built walls, they have worked. They have been an absolute necessity for Border Patrol agents in securing the border.
“We need those physical barriers, and we appreciate President Trump and all of his efforts in getting us those physical barriers,” he added. “There’s also a lot of talk on this shutdown, that federal employees do not agree with the shutdown. I will tell you that’s not true.”
Art Del Cueto, the vice president of the NBPC, concurred.
“I want everybody to take the time to understand what’s going on,” he said. “We are all affected by this shutdown. We have skin in the game.
“However, it comes down to border security,” he added. “And we are extremely grateful to President Trump, and we fully support what he is doing to take care of our nation’s borders, to take care of the future of this United States. It has nothing to do with political parties.
“You all got to ask yourself this question: If I come to your home, do you want me to knock on the front door, or do you want me to climb through that window?” he asked, before adding, “We fully support the President and all his efforts to secure our nation’s borders.”
The NBPC had been consistently supportive of Trump during his candidacy, with Del Cueto calling Trump the only candidate who has publicly expressed his support of our mission and our agents.
In March of 2016, he wrote, “He has been an outspoken candidate on the need for a Secure Border and for this we are grateful.”
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