A union representing US border patrol agents has endorsed Donald Trump for president. The move marks the first endorsement in history of the National Border Patrol Council. It also opposes the group’s parent organization, which endorsed Hillary Clinton.
The NBPC, which represents up to 18,000 Border Patrol agents, according to Federal Times, previously voiced displeasure over the December 2015 endorsement of Clinton by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), its parent organization. On Tuesday, the union openly endorsed Trump, who is leading in the Republican primary contests.
This is the same union that reportedly pressured its Laredo, Texas chapter to back out of a meeting with Trump during the candidate’s scheduled visit to the US-Mexican border last July.
“There is no greater physical or economic threat to Americans today than our open border. And there is no greater political threat than the control of Washington by special interests,” the group said in a letter endorsing Trump.
Praising Trump for being an outsider who is independent from special interests, has created thousands of jobs and is committed to “aggressive pro-American change,” the NBPC lashed out at Washington insiders more concerned about Trump’s tone than the “destruction wrought by open borders.”
“You can judge a man by his opponents: all the people responsible for the problems plaguing America today are opposing Mr. Trump,” the group wrote. “We need a person in the White House who doesn’t fear the media, who doesn’t embrace political correctness, who doesn’t need the money, who is familiar with success, who won’t bow to foreign dictators, who is pro-military and values law enforcement, and who is angry for America and NOT subservient to the interests of other nations. Donald Trump is such a man.”
The NBPC also took a potshot at President Barack Obama, without mentioning him by name.
“America has already tried a young, articulate freshman senator who never created a job as an attorney and under whose watch criminal cartels have been given the freest border reign ever known,” the group said in the letter.
Trump, who is in Wisconsin campaigning ahead of the April 5 primary, thanked the union and said that he was especially honored that they broke with tradition to give him a primary endorsement.
“This endorsement represents a total rejection of the corrupt politicians who have allowed transnational gangs and cartels to terrorize American communities,” the GOP frontrunner said.
Immigration, legal and otherwise, has been at the forefront of Trump’s campaign since he entered the race in June 2015. Since then, the previously ignored subject has become a topic of – often acrimonious – national debate, while Trump has garnered endorsements from hardline opponents of immigration, from Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions and former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.