The Memo: Biden looks for way to win back deflated Black voters
Border Patrol union president: Trump putting troops on border is a ‘colossal waste of resources’
The president of the labor union representing Border Patrol agents criticized President Trump's move to deploy the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border, calling it a "colossal waste of resources."
Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, said the union has "seen no benefit" from the deployment of about 1,600 troops so far, according to the Los Angeles Times on Thursday.
Judd said he originally supported the move because past deployments have been helpful to the Border Patrol, but that this time, "that has not happened at all."
"When I found out the National Guard was going to be on the border, I was extremely excited," he said.
Trump ordered the deployment last month as an effort to increase security at the border, with Defense Secretary James Mattis approving as many as 4,000 troops.
Carla Provost, acting chief of Border Patrol, told the Times that the National Guard troops are acting in a different capacity than in past deployments, and are working primarily on surveillance and air support.
Former Presidents Obama and Bush also deployed National Guard troops to the border, but Judd said they had a different role and were more helpful, though they were still not allowed to act as law enforcement.
"They were allowed to do a lot more than they are under the Trump administration," he said. "They were allowed to be in lookout and observation posts. They were allowed to be out grading the roads and mending fences. They were allowed to be our eyes and ears, freeing us up."
The union, which represents about 15,000 agents, endorsed Trump for president - the first time it has endorsed a candidate - citing his plans for border security.
"We generally support the administration, but we're not going to be cheerleading when things are not going well," Judd told the paper.