Border Patrol union boss hopes Trump border shutdown can be averted
PHOENIX – The head of the Border Patrol union hopes President Donald Trump’s proposed border shutdown doesn’t happen, calling it a drastic step. But if it stops the flow of migrants into the country, Brandon Judd supports the move.
“We’ve got to take some extraordinary measures if we’re going to get it under control,” Judd, chief of the Border Patrol agents’ union, said Monday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.
Trump declared Friday he was likely to shut down America’s southern border this week unless Mexican authorities immediately halted all illegal immigration.
Agents could wind up recording 100,000 border apprehensions, Department of Homeland Security officials said. It had been more than a decade since a monthly number was that high.
“From my understanding, (Trump) is looking at specific ports of entry. That’s a step I hope he doesn’t have to take – it will harm the American economy,” Judd said.
“But frankly, if you do not hit countries like Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, in the pocketbook … they’re going to continue doing what they’re doing,” he said.
Judd said Mexico should be shouldering more of the responsibility for slowing the progress of asylum seekers making their way to the U.S. by the thousands.
Judd said Mexico and the Central American countries were “aiding and abetting” the migrants.
“Mexico needs to do a much better job of policing their own southern border. They have some extremely tough immigration laws.
“They know these people are coming into Mexico solely to come up to the United States and cross our border illegally. And yet they allow them to do it,” he said.
The former Tucson Sector agent said one idea floating around was to train border agents as asylum officers, “with limited authority” to interview migrants.
“If we do that, we can actually end the catch-and-release program.
“We’re looking at exhausting every single effort we can do before we shut down those ports of entry,” Judd said.