EXCLUSIVE: Border Patrol Agents Rebuke Ted Cruz Over ‘Political Stunt’ on Border

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Texas Senator Ted Cruz visited the Laredo Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border and did not contact Border Patrol agents to discuss their needs.

According to the agents, Senator Cruz has yet to contact them through his freshman term in the U.S. Senate. The Border Patrol agents reached out to Breitbart Texas and rebuked the Senator for what they say is a pattern of having tough rhetoric while taking little action. The agents say that Senator Cruz only shows up to the border to hand out teddy bears on camera or to hear the Obama Administration political appointees’ glossy version of the realities on the ground. Senator Cruz’s spokesperson strongly refuted these assertions and told Breitbart Texas, “We had a positive and informative meeting where Customs and Border [Protection] leaders were present.”

Even the most ardent conservatives and border security fighters, both in elected positions and in the grassroots, have long recognized that the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) is the only mechanism Border Patrol agents have to speak out and to hold Obama’s Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) accountable. Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold, Arizona Senator John McCain, Texas Senator John Cornyn, Arkansas Rep. French Hill, and even Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump are all on the long list of leaders who recognize the importance of reaching to actual Border Patrol agents through the NBPC. Texas grassroots Tea Party leaders even brought Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza from Laredo to speak to the Texas Senate on border security, a service he could only perform due to his role in the NBPC.

Still, say Border Patrol agents, Senator Cruz has never reached out to them or even returned their repeated calls to him. Catherine Frazier, a spokesperson for Senator Cruz, disputes this claim. She told Breitbart Texas that there is no record of the agents reaching out to the senator.

“This is the final straw,” says Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza. “He finally came to Laredo to see the border and he didn’t even contact us.” Agent Garza spoke exclusively to Breitbart Texas in his role as NBPC Local 2455 President.

“The CBP gives the tours that their politically-appointed leadership tells them to give. They are deceiving the American public. What a politician sees on an official tour is nothing close to the reality we experience each day as agents. Considering the tough rhetoric Senator Ted Cruz puts out on border security and on supporting agents, you would think he would actually return our calls,” said Agent Garza. “Senator Cruz doing this, when his history of doing this is considered, clearly engaged in a political stunt in our city. Nothing more.”

Agent Garza’s accusations against CBP, the parent agency for the Border Patrol, can be confirmed by this reporter. On a previous occasion in the Laredo Sector, Fusion TV’s Jorge Ramos announced a visit the the area. Though there was minimal security the weekend prior, Ramos’ visit saw agents on horseback, boats, ATV’s and even a patrolling helicopter. The agency did that to present an inaccurate portrayal to media of what the border security is like in the sector.

The NBPC’s president, Border Patrol Agent Brandon Judd, also spoke with Breitbart Texas on the matter:

“I’m very disappointed that Senator Cruz chose to disregard and ignore the rank-and-file men and women of the Border Patrol when he visited the border. He had to know the agency was going to give him nothing more than a ‘dog-and-pony’ show instead of showing him the actual problems.” Agent Judd continued, “This is one more reason the border isn’t any closer to being secured today than it was 10 years ago. Until elected officials speak with all stakeholders, they will never get a true grasp of an issue.”

Indeed, Senator Cruz has had a problematic relationship with the NBPC that includes approximately 16,500 of our nations Border Patrol agents. Shortly after Breitbart Texas brought the border crisis to national prominence with the June 2014 release of over forty internal photos depicting overcrowded Border Patrol facilities in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, Senator Cruz stepped in front of the many cameras that flocked to the region to pass out teddy bears with Glenn Beck. He later visited Arizona’s Tucson Sector — but only as he was competing in the state’s Republican presidential primary and residents were voting. In that case, Breitbart Texas has confirmed that Senator Cruz reached out to CBP instead of to the agents themselves. CBP declined to participate due to concerns over the Hatch Act. Senator Cruz went to the border with ranchers.

The NBPC ultimately ended up endorsing Donald Trump in the GOP primary. Social media research reveals that many in leadership at the NBPC actually wanted to support Senator Cruz, but they indicated that he had made no effort to have a relationship with the only organization advocating for the agents, the NBPC.

Senator Cruz’s spokesperson, Catherine Frazier, responded to Breitbart Texas media inquiry on this matter and she felt that Senator Cruz had done a lot to fight for border security:

Cruz had a positive and informative meeting and border tour in Laredo this week. No one has been a greater advocate for giving border agents the resources they need to secure our border. Our Senate office  has no record of a request from NBPC to meet, but the Senator is happy to do so at their convenience to discuss their concerns. Sen. Cruz is well aware of the barriers that this administration has imposed on many of our agents to share opinions and do the job that’s necessary, which is exactly why he led the fight to stop the Gang of 8 legislation that would have made the problem even worse.

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

(Disclosure: Breitbart Texas sponsored the Green Line podcast for the NBPC in an effort to provide a platform for agents to inform the public about the realities on the border and what Border Patrol agents face. Director Brandon Darby received an award from the Laredo chapter of the NBPC for his work in helping to defend and bring a voice to Border Patrol agents. Breitbart News assisted in covering funeral costs for a slain Border Patrol agent previously.)

This article has been updated to include an additional comment from Senator Cruz’s spokesperson.


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