April 12, 2016

NM/El Paso agents challenge national union’s Trump endorsement

Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump at Arizona rally in March, 2016. Flickr/cc

The local union that represent border patrol agents in El Paso and New Mexico will challenge the national union’s endorsement of Donald Trump for president.

Donald Trump at Arizona rally in March, 2016. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore cc

Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump at Arizona rally in March, 2016. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore cc

The March 30 endorsement by the national union, the National Border Patrol Council, was the first ever such endorsement by the union.

It comes in the wake of Trump leading the Republican field, though receiving a series of body blows over recent weeks in elections, with a sharp focus on immigration and the border.

The vote to endorse came through an 11-person board of the NBPC, though the union would not reveal the vote count.

Now, Local 1929 says that they don’t like the endorsement and may move to remain neutral.

A letter that the El Paso Times first obtained a letter that showed elected officials in both the El Paso area of Texas and southern New Mexico supported the local chapter’s effort.

From the Times:

“We do not believe this endorsement reflect the values of the Border Patrol agents that work in this region,” said the letter signed by multiple El Paso elected officials, including Mayor Oscar Leeser, County Judge Veronica Escobar and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke. “One of the reasons that El Paso is the safest city in the United States is because of the trust developed between law enforcement and the El Paso community.”

State Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Mesilla Park, and former Las Cruces city councilor Nathan Small also signed onto the letter.

The national union defended the endorsement process as “open” and reflective of the union’s feelings.

The chapter in the El Paso/New Mexico region contains about ten percent of the national union’s total members.

Trump launched his campaign last summer and blasted Mexican immigrants who are in the country illegally, saying the country is “not sending their best.”

“They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us,” Trump said. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Trump quickly rocketed to the top of the polls and has been the frontrunner for virtually the entirety of the campaign. Recently, however, he has faced a series of setbacks. He lost Wisconsin handily to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and poor organizing led to a large loss of delegates in Colorado, again to Cruz.