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Poll undercuts Dem. narrative - 89% of border agents want wall system

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It would only seem to make sense that those who patrol the U.S. border would be in favor of anything that makes it more difficult for people to enter the country illegally.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in a survey conducted by the National Border Patrol Council — the union that represents the agents who patrol the border — 89 percent of agents supported adding a “wall system” in certain high-traffic locations to help catch or deter those who try to enter the country illegally.

The survey of more than 600 agents in two of the Border Patrol’s busiest sectors found just 7 percent of agents disagreed with the notion that a “wall system in strategic locations is necessary to securing the border.”

Agents surveyed by the NBPC also cited the need for the government to change the “catch and release” policy, which allows many illegal border crossers to be released after being arrested if they claim they require asylum in the country.

The results of the survey were first reported Monday by The Washington Times.

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It remains to be seen if the survey results generate as much media attention as a report published late last month by the Democratic staff of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which claimed a survey of border agents found plenty of requests for additional investments in technology, training and personnel — but few suggestions for a wall.

Citing  an annual survey by U.S. Customs and Border Protection of its agents that asks their thoughts on agency priorities, the Democratic staff report claimed fewer than 1 percent of responses made reference to a “wall.”

The Democratic report suggests funding for a wall is more the wish of President Donald Trump than that of border agents.

“At a minimum, funding decisions should reflect the operational requirements of frontline agents and Border Patrol section chiefs — and should not be based on a desire to fulfill campaign promises made by the president,” the Democratic report said.

Do you believe a border wall will be built during the Trump administration?

The claims made in the Democratic report drew immediate criticism from Benjamine “Carry” Huffman, the head of strategic planning for U.S. Border Patrol.

Huffman called a border wall “essential to gaining operational control.”

“The fact is, when it comes to border security, the border wall system works,” Huffman said in a statement. “Suggestions that the Border Patrol believes otherwise are false.”

Monday on Fox News Channel, Border Patrol Council vice president Hector Garza said the “catch and release” concept so many agents want to see eliminated has survived because holdovers from the Obama administration are continuing to implement the policy.

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Under “catch and release,” illegal immigrants can claim to require asylum in the United States. By making the claim, the immigrants receive notices to appear in court at a later date.

But Garza said few illegal immigrants actually show up months later at their hearing and “disappear into American communities.”

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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