In an unprecedented move Wednesday, the National Border Patrol Council announced that it is endorsing Donald Trump, a candidate it touts as “bold and outspoken as other world leaders who put their country’s interests ahead of all else.”
The National Border Patrol Council, a labor union representing 16,500 agents, has refrained in the past from making such endorsements, but cited the “lives and security of the American people” as reason enough to break with precedent.
“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,” the statement reads. It adds: “As an organization we expect our elected officials to aggressively pursue the interests of the country.”
With that, the border agents are throwing their weight behind Trump, a political outsider, who has made immigration a central pillar of his platform in his pursuit for the White House. Trump has regularly cited border security on the campaign trail, saying that he’ll build a wall, which Mexico will foot the bill for, and calling for the deportation of the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. His hardline stance on immigration seems to have appealed to Republican primary voters, some of whom have ranked immigration among their top concerns.