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Border Patrol union chief, working for free, supports government shutdown

(AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)

PHOENIX — The head of the Border Patrol union is currently working for free, but it’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make if it results in funding for a southern border wall.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, and other agents are among a number of federal workers not getting paid during the partial government shutdown.

Judd says he “100 percent supports” President Donald Trump, who is asking for $5 billion in funding for the southern wall because he believes it will further curb illegal immigration.

“I’m working for free, so I do have skin in the game,” Judd told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday. “This is personally impacting me but I do believe walls are so important.

“Border Patrol agents know how important the walls are and how effective walls have been. We need walls, especially as we continue to see the number of illegal aliens crossing the border. We’ve got to put in the physical barriers.”

Judd pointed to the successes of walls in Tucson, Nogales and Yuma as reasons a southern wall would assist Border Patrol.

“Walls are extremely important,” Judd said. “They help us do our job.”

The partial government shutdown is in its fifth day, but Wednesday was the first day federal workers were monetarily affected because of the weekend and the Christmas holiday.

Judd said he isn’t worried about an extended government shutdown.

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs was one of several legislators who met with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence over the weekend to help push forward negotiations on wall funding.

“I think (Trump) will be able to get something done,” Judd said. “I would not bet against him.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.

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