Border Patrol Union Leader Urges Top Democrats to Visit Border

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
December 13, 2018Politics

A top Border Patrol union official urged top Democrats Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to visit the border after their comments during a meeting with President Donald Trump on Dec. 11.

Both leaders have refused to back Trump’s proposed border wall.

While Trump said during the meeting he’d be open to a government shutdown if he couldn’t get border wall funding, the Democrats said they didn’t want the government to shut down. Schumer said border security is possible without a wall, though he didn’t provide evidence backing the claim.

Art Del Cueto, a vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, said after the meeting that he hopes Pelosi and Schumer can travel to the border so he can show them around.

Trump meets with Democrat leaders
Vice President Mike Pence (second from left) listens while presumptive Speaker, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L), President Donald Trump, and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) argue before a meeting at the White House in Washington, on Dec. 11, 2018. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

“Nancy Pelosi and [Chuck] Schumer, they can come down here and help us patrol the border and I’ll show them how difficult and how dangerous it really is, and how that wall makes a difference,” Del Cueto said during a Fox News appearance.

He also agreed with the host that no Democrats seem to have addressed the loopholes in the current immigration system, such as the backlog of asylum cases due to the number of claims skyrocketing in recent years.

While 89 percent of aliens from Central America pass the initial credible-fear interview at the border, only 9 percent of Central Americans are granted asylum, according to the Department of Justice. The conditions for asylum are more narrow than many people know.

NTD Photo
Migrants break through the U.S. border fence just beyond the east pedestrian entrance of the San Ysidro crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, on Nov. 25, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The skyrocketing number of claims has led to a backlog of more than 760,000 cases, the department said in September.

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the investiture of 46 new judges that month to try to deal with the backlog.

“This situation is unacceptable. It cannot continue. Our nation’s chief executive supports you and all who strive to make our immigration system work,” Sessions told the judges.

NTD Photo
A Border Patrol agent takes down information of a man and his son who illegally crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States in Hidalgo County, Texas, on May 26, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Of those who pass their initial screening, 40 percent then fail to lodge an official asylum application and 31 percent fail to show up for their immigration court hearing, according to the department. The situation has led to a border crisis.

Del Cueto noted the fact that some migrants don’t show up to court cases, which effectively makes them illegal aliens.

“That’s been going on for quite some time now,” he said. “And I’ll say false asylum claims because if you’re not even bothering to show up then you know your case is weak.”

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