- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the U.S.’ largest border patrol union has endorsed GOP front-runner Donald Trump for president.

The group’s bold statement comes just days after a senior policy adviser for Mr. Trump said that under a Trump administration, U.S. border security policy would be determined by Border Patrol agents who have first-hand knowledge of what is necessary to protect the border and not by politically-appointed bureaucrats in the Border Patrol or its parent agency Customs and Border Protection.

The endorsement is the first the NBPC, which represents over 18,000 agents, has ever made in a presidential primary.

“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. As such, we are breaking with our past practice and giving our first-ever endorsement in a presidential primary,” NBPC President Brandon Judd wrote in a letter reviewed by Breitbart News.

“We think it is that important: if we do not secure our borders, American communities will continue to suffer at the hands of gangs, cartels and violent criminals preying on the innocent. The lives and security of the American people are at stake, and the National Border Patrol Council will not sit on the sidelines,” Mr. Judd wrote.

Mr. Judd said the union supports Mr. Trump because he will “take on special interests and embrace the ideas of rank-and-file Border Patrol agents rather than listening to the management yes-men who say whatever they are programmed to say. This is a refreshing change that we have not seen before — and may never see again.”

Earlier this month, Art Del Cueto, president of Local 2544 of the NBPC, stopped just short of endorsing Mr. Trump in a statement saying he was the “only candidate” to support Border Patrol agents.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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