As President of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents over 16,500 Border Patrol Agents, I take issue with the editorial published April 5th in reaction to the union’s endorsement of Donald Trump.
As someone who has been involved in border protection for over 18 years, I can tell you the border is not secure and the situation is getting worse. Apprehensions are only one factor that needs to be considered. The fact that the editorial board chose to cherry pick one statistic is not only inaccurate - it is bad journalism.
The National Border Patrol Council is the official organization representing our nation’s Border Patrol Agents. We represent 16,500 agents who selflessly serve this country in an environment where our own political leaders try to keep us from doing our jobs.
The NBPC has had a longstanding practice of not endorsing presidential candidates in the primaries. We will not, however, shy away from voicing our opinions as it pertains to border security and the men and women of the United States Border Patrol. As such, we are breaking with our past practice and giving our first-ever endorsement in a presidential primary. We think it is that important: if we do not secure our borders, American communities will continue to suffer at the hands of gangs, cartels and violent criminals preying on the innocent. The lives and security of the American people are at stake, and the National Border Patrol Council will not sit on the sidelines.
American’s Safety Not Obama’s Priority
A man suspected of killing five people across Kansas and Missouri was arrested early Wednesday morning after an extensive manhunt.
Pablo Antonio Serrano-Vitorino is a Mexican citizen in the US illegally. Even if this man was caught prior to the crimes, he would have been released under President Obama’s Priority Enforcement guidelines. That means this criminal was free to roam our streets, and not until he committed the heinous murders of five people, would he have been a candidate for deportation.
In a cruel twist, ICE issued a detainer for Serrano-Vitorino but sent it to the wrong jurisdiction. That being said, Serrano-Vitorino would have been released without so much as a Notice to Appear, due to the constraints of the Priority Enforcement Program.
Kerlikowske’s see-something-say-nothing approach weakens border security.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil R. Kerlikowske presented testimony before the House Appropriations Committee that was riddled with half-truths and included at least one outright lie.
“Border Patrol agents do not turn every individual we arrest over to ICE,” said Brandon Judd, NBPC president. “Under the Prosecutorial Discretion guidelines, we walk a great many illegal aliens out our front door without them even being interviewed by ICE. In these cases we don’t even refer these individuals via a notice to appear to see a judge, the lawful proceeding that allows a person to show cause for why they should be allowed to remain. We simply let them go and pretend they were never in our custody.”
Judd added: “The commissioner and I have serious disagreements on border security. He believes that amnesty programs like DAPA, DACA and ‘catch and release’ are the right approach. However, what we have seen is that these programs are only adding to the crisis, as illegal immigrants believe they are going to be allowed to stay.”