With immigration reform front and center this month, a Border Patrol union chief who has been a vocal force advocating improved border security is getting a nod from President Trump.
Tweeting Saturday morning, President Trump recognized National Border Patrol Council chief Brandon Judd for his "strong" support of his proposal that would secure funding for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Thank you to Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council for his strong statement on @foxandfriends that we very badly NEED THE WALL," Trump said. He also asserted the need to end an border security "loophole" as well as tidy up legal immigration.
Thank you to Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council for his strong statement on @foxandfriends that we very badly NEED THE WALL. Must also end loophole of “catch & release” and clean up the legal and other procedures at the border NOW for Safety & Security reasons.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2018
The president is an avid fan of "Fox & Friends," and was reacting to a short interview Judd did earlier in the morning. Asked if the Democrats' concerns that a wall would not secure the border, Judd could not disagree more.
"They are absolutely incorrect. All you have to do is look at history," Judd replied. "Where we built physical barriers, it's dropped the number of illegal entries exponentially. They are absolutely wrong."
Judd also praised Trump's "brilliance" as a businessman, defended Trump's push to prune legal immigration, and explained that the amount of money Trump has requested for the wall and Homeland Security resources and personnel, including judges, is more than sufficient.
The White House revealed last week details of its proposal to protect "Dreamers" – a sticking point for Democrats and some Republicans – in exchange for shoring up border security. The plan would also reduce legal immigration due to changes to the lottery program and new limits on family-based legal immigration.
Judd, a 20-year veteran of the Border Patrol whose union represents about 18,000 Border Patrol agents and their support personnel who operate on the northern and southern borders, has recently testified before Congress and has repeatedly gone on TV to advocate stronger border security measures supported by Republican lawmakers as well as some Democrats who have been reticent to cooperate with Trump.
His efforts have secured him an opportunity to see Trump in person on Tuesday, when the president delivers his State of the Union address. Judd will be the invited guest of Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, who heaped praise on the Montana native.
"Brandon Judd has been on the front line securing our border and keeping Montanans safe," Tester said in a press release. "He is a Montana boy who climbed the ranks from an agent on our northern border to the very top of the National Border Patrol Council. Brandon's input will play a critical role as we work towards a tough, bipartisan solution to a stronger border."