Federal workers head says border patrol agents voicing complaints about working without pay

The head of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) on Wednesday said that many border patrol agents have been calling the union to complain about having to work without pay amid the ongoing partial government shutdown. 

David Borer, who serves as General Counsel of AFGE, disputed a suggestion made by National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, who said earlier this month that border patrol agents were in favor of the shutdown over the border wall.

“Yeah, he says that but members, many of them, are calling us saying, ‘I need to get paid,’ ” Borer told Hill.TV’s Saagar Enjeti in response to a question over Judd’s comments during an interview on "Rising."

The AFGE represents more than 670,000 federal government employees and an estimated 5,000 employees in the District of Columbia. Borer said this includes tens of thousands of border patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.

Like a number of other federal employees, many border patrol agents are working without knowing when they’ll receive their next paycheck.

Borer called on Democratic and Republican leaders to come together on agreement to reopen the government, calling it “immoral” to make thousands of federal employees work without being paid.

“You can debate border security all day long but you can’t do it with people locked out and not able to feed their families,” he told Hill.TV.

Borer’s comments come after Judd appeared earlier this month alongside President Trump to make the case for a border wall along the U.S. southern border.

During the press conference, Judd insisted that physical barriers are an “absolutely necessity,” and praised Trump’s demands for a border wall.

He also addressed talk among border patrol agents regarding the shut down. Trump’s demand for a $5.7 border wall has triggered a budget impasse with Democrats, leading to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

“There’s also a lot of talk on this shutdown, that federal employees do not agree with this shut down, I will tell you, that’s not true,” Judd asserted with Trump standing behind him at the podium.

Judd has been a long-time supporter of Trump.

The 21-year-old border patrol veteran endorsed Trump during the 2016 presidential election. It marked the union’s first ever endorsement of a presidential candidate in a primary race.

—Tess Bonn