In a dramatic departure from his support of Trump, the head of the national Border Patrol union called the ballyhooed deployment of National Guard troops on the border “a colossal waste of resources…We have seen no benefit.”
A month after President Trump called for sending National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, the head of the national Border Patrol union called the deployment “a colossal waste of resources,” reports the Los Angeles Times.”We have seen no benefit,” said Brandon Judd, president of the union that represents 15,000 agents, the National Border Patrol Council. The criticism is a dramatic departure for the group, which endorsed Trump’s candidacy for president and has praised his border security efforts, including National Guard deployments. “When I found out the National Guard was going to be on the border I was extremely excited,” Judd said, because previous deployments on the border helped alleviate the Border Patrol’s workload. He said that hasn’t happened.
About 1,600 National Guard troops were deployed on the border. About 750 more troops may soon be added in support roles, and the total could reach 4,000 “based on requests for assistance and what they need,” said Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. Davis declined to comment on the remarks by the Border Patrol union. A Border Patrol spokeswoman said National Guard troops had assisted with 3,924 deportations, 1,116 “turn backs” of migrants into Mexico and the seizure of 3,486 pounds of marijuana — all by operating support technology and equipment. She said they had replaced some Border Patrol agents at observation posts. Border Patrol Acting Chief Carla Provost responded to the union’s claims by acknowledging that the National Guard’s role has changed compared with past deployments.