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Tag: National Border Patrol Council

Trump, Breitbart & Conservatives May Have Lied about Border Patrol Agent’s Death

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The details surrounding the death and serious injuries of two Border Patrol agents on the night of Nov. 18 were almost immediately blamed on stone-throwing immigrants.

But the FBI and other investigators are skeptical, saying the agents may have fallen into a ravine. 

Nevertheless, President Trump, Texas politicians and the right-wing site Breitbart spun a tale that claimed Rogelio Martinez, 36, died from injuries sustained in an attack. His partner was critically injured.

A day after the injuries were reported, Trump tweeted, “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

Trump added that the surviving agent had been “badly beaten,” The Texas Observer points out

The union that represents Border Patrol agents, the National Border Patrol Council, suggested the agents were attacked, though Breitbart acknowledged in its story that “details on the matter are scarce.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, with no information to back up the story, added to the rhetoric, saying the agent had been “killed” in what is “a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them.”

The Culberson County Sheriff’s office, which is working with the FBI task force, told the Dallas Morning News on November 20 that the evidence he saw was “very consistent with a fall.”

The Observer wrote:

Top Texas Republicans, however, weren’t going to let ambiguity get in the way of a good story. The state’s senior U.S. senator, John Cornyn, was marginally more measured than Cruz, telling a radio interviewer that “at least preliminarily” the incident was an “ambush by drug traffickers,” though he added that the details were unconfirmed. Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, went even further, introducing the idea that “murder” had occurred. In a press release, he announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of those responsible for Martinez’s “murder,” which Breitbart quickly turned into a story: “Texas Governor Offers $20,000 for Info on ‘Murder’ of Border Patrol Agent.”

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton joined in as well, both sharing inflammatory articles published shortly after the incident. Patrick selected a Fox News article headlined: “Border agent killed, partner injured by illegal immigrants using rocks, report says.” The supposed “report,” the reader finds, is just a quote from a Border Patrol union official given to another media outlet. Paxton chose Breitbart as his own source.

It’s entirely possible that the Breitbart version of events will turn out to be true, but more than a week after the incident became public, the FBI has yet to release any additional information. Jeanette Harper, a spokesperson for the agency’s El Paso field office, told the Observer on Tuesday that the agency is currently looking into tips. She said it would likely be a while before they could say anything further.

New Border Patrol Chief Appointed Under President Trump’s Administration

Border Patrol chief Ron Vitiello.

Border Patrol chief Ron Vitiello.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has a new leader under President Trump’s administration.

Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan named his replacement, Ron Vitiello, according to the agency’s Twitter account on Tuesday.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ron Vitiello as U.S. Border Patrol Chief,” McAleenan wrote.

The National Border Patrol Council – the agents’ union – supported the appointment of Vitiello, who had endorsed Trump during the election.

Vitiello joined Border Patrol more than 30 years ago and most recently served as CBP’s executive assistance commissioner for operations support.

Vitiello briefly served as acting Border Patrol chief and also had the role of deputy chief in the Obama administration.

No Senate confirmation is required.

Mark Morgan resigned as Border Patrol chief less than a week ago.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Union Confers with Donald Trump about Securing the Border

national border patrol councilBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The National Border Patrol Council, which represents more than 16,000 agents, met with Donald Trump to determine how best to secure the border.

NPR spoke with Border Patrol Agent Brandon Judd about the discussions.

The union endorsed Trump during the election.

Listen here:

Unions for Border Patrol, ICE Don’t Back Down from Endorsing Trump

national border patrol councilBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While many people who have endorsed Donald Trump for president have withdrawn their support over the candidate’s vulgar comments about women, the National Border Patrol Council and Customs Enforcement Council have not.

The unions have said they support Trump because of his tough stance on the nation’s borders and immigration laws.

Their failure to rescind the endorsement has prompted some backlash, including from a Washington Post columnist who wrote, “If his racist, misogynistic, narcissistic campaign does win, two unions representing thousands of federal law enforcement officers will have been accomplices.”

The NBPC released this statement about enforcing Trump on March 31: “Mr. Trump is correct when he says immigration wouldn’t be at the forefront of this presidential campaign if months ago he hadn’t made some bold and necessary statements. And when the withering media storm ensued he did not back down one iota. That tells you the measure of a man. When the so-called experts said he was too brash and outspoken, and that he would fade away, they were proven wrong. We are confident they will be proven wrong again in November when he becomes President of the United States.”

Other Stories of Interest

LA Times: Border Patrol Union Hurts Image with Donald Trump Endorsement

border patrol 3By Scott Martelle
Los Angeles Times

The leadership of the National Border Patrol Council – the union representing rank-and-file Border Patrol guards – came out two months ago with an endorsement of Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions, marking the first time the union had endorsed a candidate during the primary cycle. In the process, those union leaders created a problem: The folks on the front line of border protections have aligned themselves with someone who believes the Mexicans crossing the border are “in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists.”

And who has denigrated women and vowed (likely in violation of the Constitution) to ban Muslims from entering the country.

As Richard Marosi reported, that has exposed a rift within the union in an agency in which (per this 2012 report) more than a third of the employees are Latino, and one in five are women.

The union faced some external backlash after making the endorsement, including calls for the AFL-CIO to kick it out of the labor federation. That’s silly. The union – any union – has a right to endorse a political candidate, though I wish they were a bit more democratic about it rather than having, as in the case of the Border Patrol union, the leadership make the call. And they are within their rights to align with any candidate they like – the AFL-CIO shouldn’t bounce a member union over its political positions, since the main point of the union is to represent its workers. 

But the Border Patrol union did its members a disservice by backing a demagogue who demonizes some of the very people its members encounter as a core function of their jobs.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

Less Than Half of U.S.-Mexico Border Is Under ‘Operational Control,

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Think the Mexico-U.S. border is safer. Think again.

So says Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, who told Congress Wednesday that only 40% of the border is under “operational control,” The Washington Times reports. 

Judd also said that 20% of illegal immigrants who were captured had criminals records.

“This is the challenge we are facing at the border today,” he said. “There are those who will point to lower apprehension rates and tell you the border is secure. Border Patrol agents, however, throughout this nation will tell you the border is not secure, and the southwest border certainly is not safe.”

The assertions contradict claims by President Obama’s administration that conditions at the border are improving.

Less Than Half of U.S.-Mexico Border Is Under ‘Operational Control,’ Agents Say

border fence photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Think the Mexico-U.S. border is safer. Think again.

So says Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, who told Congress Wednesday that only 40% of the border is under “operational control,” The Washington Times reports. 

Judd also said that 20% of illegal immigrants who were captured had criminals records.

“This is the challenge we are facing at the border today,” he said. “There are those who will point to lower apprehension rates and tell you the border is secure. Border Patrol agents, however, throughout this nation will tell you the border is not secure, and the southwest border certainly is not safe.”

The assertions contradict claims by President Obama’s administration that conditions at the border are improving.

Less Than Half of U.S.-Mexico Border Is Under ‘Operational Control,’ Agents Say

Border Patrol to Test Body Cameras Following Complaints from Activists

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol is beginning to test body cameras following complaints from activists, the Associated Press reports.

The body cameras were purchased and will be tested at Border Patrol’s training academy.

The news came during a meeting with activists who have urged the federal government to use the cameras.

It remained unclear whether the cameras would be introduced to the field.

According to the AP, the National Border Patrol Council likely will oppose the measure.

“We want to make sure these are used to back up agents, not to persecute them,” Shawn Moran, a spokesman for the agent’s union, said. “If they’re used correctly by the agency, they will offer an independent account in use-of-force incidents or any type of incident. We do have concerns management would use them to look for administrative violations.”