Border Patrol union boss points to both sides in politicizing security issue
PHOENIX — The president of the border patrol agents’ union said both sides of the aisle in Washington have politicized border security but he remained hopeful for continued improvement slowing illegal immigration.
“It’s one of those things that people, instead of being concerned about the United States as a whole, they’re more concerned about their own re-elections, which is one of the reasons Congress has such a low approval rating,” president of the National Border Patrol Council, Brandon Judd, said Tuesday on KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.
Judd was in Washington, D.C. to testify before the U.S. House’s Border and Maritime Security subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.).
The Department of Homeland Security said in December arrests for illegal border crossings in the southwest had dropped to their lowest numbers in 46 years.
“Frankly, we’ve got to give (President Donald Trump) an awful lot of credit for what’s taking place,” Judd said.
“The rhetoric and promises that he made that we will enforce the laws that were written on the books is what has sent shock waves throughout the world and has caused a lot less people to cross our borders illegally.”
Judd said the previous White House Administration had demoralized agents and tied their hands in terms of pursuing apprehension of undocumented immigrants, although former President Barack Obama deported more immigrants at a higher rate than his predecessors, according to data.
“Border security is politicized,” Judd said. “You see the left saying that we need border security, but then they don’t give us the resources that we need to secure the border.”
On the right, he said, “I’ve sat with many congressmen that, when they ask what are some of the things we need to do and when I say ’employer sanctions,’ they just kind of look away and say, we just can’t do that because my businesses within my state, they rely too heavily upon cheap labor.'”
Judd said, “Put the measures in place that … secure the border, to ensure that we never have to talk about immigration reform again.
“I can absolutely see a pathway to legalization for those people who did not knowingly break the law. … But chain migration has to end along with that, otherwise people will continue to use loopholes to get around our immigration system.”