A Border Patrol veihicle drives past vehicle barriers near Deming, NM. (Jim Greenhill via Flickr/Creative Commons)
This story has been updated after a Tuesday (April 12) meeting of the National Border Patrol Council’s El Paso chapter, Local 1929.
A group of dissenting Border Patrol agents in El Paso, Texas – across the border from Juárez, Mexico – say they don’t believe their national union’s endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for president reflects the values of agents on the border.
21 Democratic politicians in Texas and New Mexico, among them New Mexico State Rep. Bill McCamley, have sent a letter to the El Paso chapter of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), saying they support the agents’ wish to distance itself from the endorsement.
“The rhetoric that Trump gives to people is really harmful to our area,” McCamley said.
The letter says Trump demeans immigrants and has “lied about the threats” on the border to advance his campaign.
The El Paso Times reported this week that agents in the El Paso-New Mexico area planned to ask their local union chapter – Local 1929 – to disavow the national union’s Trump endorsement.
The dissenting agents’ move to disavow the Trump endorsement was defeated in a 14-13 vote at that Tuesday night meeting.
The Times has more:
“The endorsement from the national was basically an endorsement for border security. That’s all it was,” Stu Harris, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1929 in El Paso, said after the union meeting Tuesday.
Harris declined to speak further about the vote at the union meeting, which was closed to the public and the news media. Agents leaving the meeting said they could not speak to the news media because they would get in trouble.
NBPC Vice President and Spokesperson Shawn Moran says the union respects the opinions of all members, and that the endorsement is based on Trump’s border policies and nothing else.
Moran elaborated on that idea in a comment to the Times earlier this week:
“Some may disagree with the decision and that is their right to do so. However, they are wrong to say that this was a closed process,” Moran said. “The National Border Patrol Council, to its credit, created a very inclusive process and reached out to the leadership of each local to get their opinions, and answer any concerns before they made this historic decision. No one took this responsibility lightly.”
Presidio, TX Mayor John Ferguson said in a Facebook post Tuesday that he also opposes the national union’s Trump endorsement.
“Count me ‘in’ opposing Trump’s endorsement by the Border Patrol union,” he said.
– Lorne Matalon. Travis Bubenik contributed reporting.