In a surprise move on Thursday, Border Patrol leaders joined POTUS Donald Trump at a press conference in Washington, D.C., to express their support for a continued partial government shutdown until obstructing Democrats accede to his demand for border wall funding.
Members of theÂ National Border Patrol Council â€” the largest union of Border Patrol members â€” joined the president in the White House Press Room and sent a two-word message: â€œWalls work.â€
Appearing with several members of the NBPC, POTUSÂ calledÂ them â€œpeople Iâ€™ve known very well over the last two years, people that have been extremely supportive of what weâ€™re doing on the border.
â€œTheyâ€™re tough, theyâ€™re smart, they think, they love our country,â€ the president added. â€œThey have every quality.â€
Brandon Judd, the president of the council, was described by POTUS as â€œa 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 doesnâ€™t get much tougher.â€
Judd returned the favor: â€œWe really appreciate all the support that youâ€™ve given the Border Patrol. We appreciate the support that youâ€™ve given ICE,â€ Judd responded.
â€œIâ€™ve been a Border Patrol agent for 21 years,â€ he continued. â€œI 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 â€” you hear a lot of talk that there are experts that say that walls donâ€™t work. I promise you that if you interview Border Patrol agents, they will tell you that walls work,” he added.
Judd then provided an example.
â€œI worked in Naco, Arizona for 10 years. We didnâ€™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.
â€œAnywhere that you look, where we have built walls,Â they have worked. They have been an absolute necessity for Border Patrol agents in securing the border,” he said.
His viewpoint was echoed byÂ Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot this week in an interview withÂ Fox News.
Wilmot noted that physical barriers in his sector of the border reduced illegal immigration and crime by a staggering 91 percent.
And he also noted that Border Patrol officials were resident “experts” on the effectiveness of physical barriers.
â€œThe fence worked here.Â It may not work in New Mexico, I can only talk about my area.Â But [politicians should] defer to the Border Patrol experts,” he said.Â â€œThey know the situation.”
As the government shutdown stretches past two weeks, Democrats in Congress continue to resist the president’s $5 billion wall funding request, preferring instead to force Homeland Security employees, which includes Border Patrol, TSA, and ICE, to work without pay.
The department is one of those whose funding ran out shortly before Christmas. — Jon Dougherty
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