Border patrol union pulls out of Trump visit
A local union representing border patrol agents has opted out of providing assistance to businessman Donald Trump and those attending his visit to the border with Mexico on Thursday in Laredo, Texas.
“After careful consideration of all the factors involved in this event and communicating with members of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) at the National level, it has been decided by Local 2455 to pull out of all events involving Donald Trump,” local union president Hector Garza said in a statement.
“Make no mistake, our border with Mexico is not secure and there’s no doubt that we need to have an honest discussion about that with the American people,” Garza said.
Garza said the local group intended to provide on-the-ground perspective to Trump and media in attendance, but that it “never discussed” endorsing Trump or any other presidential candidate.
Trump’s initial plan included holding a press conference at the border and meeting members of the union, his campaign said Wednesday.
A spokeswoman told CNN that Trump still plans to visit the border Thursday and will address law enforcement officials at an event following a tour.
#DEVELOPING: Donald Trump "tour" of the physical Int'l border cancelled, but his campaign says "We are still coming to Laredo." #2016
— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) July 23, 2015
Trump pointed out that the local chapter had initially invited him to the border. The group has previously invited other politicians to encourage stronger border policies, it told CNN earlier this month.
Trump said in a statement that the local chapter “received pressure at a national level not to participate and ultimately pulled out of today’s event.”
“They are being silenced, and are very unhappy about it, as told directly to Mr. Trump,” his campaign said in a statement.
The celebrity real estate developer has seen a slew of fizzled business ties and media attention in recent weeks for his controversial comments on criminals and “rapists” immigrating from Mexico.
He’s also topped several polls of the GOP presidential field.