Border Patrol Union Pulls Out of Donald Trump Events Ahead of Visit

The presidential candidate is set to head to the US-Mexico border on Thursday, but the National Border Patrol Council Local 2455 issued a statement saying they will not meet with him.

by VICE News
Jul 23 2015, 4:00pm

Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA

When billionaire business mogul turned presidential hopeful Donald Trump visits the US border with Mexico in Texas later today, he will not be sitting down with the Laredo border patrol, the unit's union has said.

The National Border Patrol Council Local 2455's President Hector Garza said in the statement today that it has decided to "pull out of" any Trump related events.

"Our intentions to meet with Mr. Trump was to provide a 'boots on the ground' perspective to not only Mr. Trump, but to the media that would be in attendance at this event," Garza said. "An endorsement was never discussed for any presidential candidate. Local 2455 does not endorse candidates for any political office."

"For these reasons, Local 2455 will not participate in any events with Mr. Trump," he added.

According to the union, its responsibility lies with protecting the men and women monitoring the country's borders. However, the group did stress in its statement that the Mexican border is "not secure" and that there is a need to talk about this issue with the American people.

Related: Young and Alone: The Growing Humanitarian Crisis at the US-Mexico Border

Meanwhile, the former reality television star, who has developed a passion for politics in recent years, has toldThe Hill the likelihood that he will run as a third-party candidate will depend on treatment from the Republican National Committee.

"I'll have to see how I'm being treated by the Republicans," Trump said. "Absolutely, if they're not fair, that would be a factor."

The latest development in the Trump presidential run comes after recent criticism from the GOP establishment, with concern growing following comments Trump made this month criticizing Arizona Senator John McCain's "war hero" legacy. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus had advised the candidate on July 8 to "tone it down," referring to the inflammatory rhetoric Trump he has doled out in recent weeks. Meanwhile, RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said there was no place in the party for those kinds of comments.

In June, Trump drew heavy backlash when he made incendiary statements claiming that those coming from Mexico into the US are rapists and criminals. In the aftermath of those comments, television station owned by Mexican media mogul Carlos Slim cut its ties with the businessman, and NBCUniversal, home of Trump's reality-television series Celebrity Apprentice, also ended its relationship with the mogul.

After the inflammatory comments, US Spanish-language broadcaster Univision had canceled a deal to air Trump's Miss Universe and Miss USA beauty pageants. Mexico also pulled its contestant out of the pageant.

As the Republican pool of presidential candidates continues to grow for the November 2016 elections, Trump's popularity continues to climb. Despite the controversial comments, a Washington Post-ABC News poll had him in the top spot, well ahead of the second most favored candidate, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.