Border Patrol Union: New Chief ‘Invaluable’ to Trump’s Border Plan

UNITED STATES - FEB. 23 - Ronald Vitiello, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, looks on during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "The Unaccompanied Children Crisis: Does the Administration Have a Plan to Stop the Border Surge and Adequately Monitor the …
File Photo: Al Drago/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Agents of the U.S. Border Patrol said the appointment of Ronald D. Vitiello as their new chief is “invaluable” as the agency prepares to implement President Donald Trump’s border security plans.

“I’ve never worked with [a manager] that cares more about Border Security than Chief Vitiello,” National Border Patol Council President Brandon Judd told Breitbart Texas on Wednesday. “To care; however, isn’t enough. The border isn’t going to secure itself just because someone cares.”

Judd, who represents the 18,000 men and women tasked with securing the border from illegal immigration, drug smugglers, and terrorists, said Vitiello will have to take a serious look at “an organization that has failed over the years.” Borrowing a phrase from President Donald Trump, Judd said the new chief will need to “drain the swamp” and get rid of the “managers that have driven this organization into the ground.” He said those managers must be replaced with intelligent, driven, and proven leaders “who will develop the operations to put our agents in the best position to succeed.”

“Because Chief Vitiello cares so deeply about Border Security I believe he will do just that,” Judd concluded.

In its official statement, the NBPC stated:

We commend President Trump for recognizing that in the US Border Patrol, experience matters. We are unlike any other law enforcement agency in the world. We operate marine, land, and air units in every climate, and every environment. The previous administration’s attempts to treat the Border Patrol like any law enforcement agency, resulted in leadership that was reactive and in constant crisis. As we begin to implement President Trump’s plan to secure the border and protect our communities, Mr. Vitiello’s experience will be invaluable. We look forward to working with Chief Vitiello.

Vitiello previously served as acting Border Patrol chief from December 1, 2015 until President Obama appointed a Border Patrol outsider, Mark Morgan to be chief on July 20, 2016. Morgan abruptly resigned the position as Border Patrol chief last week saying he was “forced out,” Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz reported.

Shortly after Morgan’s appointment as chief, the NBPC spoke out in support of Chief Vitiello and thanked him for his interim service. “Deputy Chief Vitiello has served as an example of what all law enforcement managers should strive to be: a fair, competent leader who took care of his people while accomplishing the mission,” NBPC officials wrote on their website.

Chief Vitiello has more than 30 years’ worth of experience with the U.S. Border Patrol. His career began in the Laredo Sector, one of today’s hotbeds of human and drug smuggling. He was named deputy chief of the Border Patrol in 2010. Just prior to that appointment, Vitiello served as head of the Rio Grande Valley Sector. That sector is the leading region for the apprehension of Unaccompanied Alien Children and Family Unit Aliens.

The NBPC endorsed Donald Trump for president early in the Republican Primary season, Breitbart Texas reported in March 2016. It was the first time their union had made a political endorsement during a presidential campaign.

The NBPC stated:

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. 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.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.

DISCLOSURE: Breitbart News sponsors the National Border Patrol Council’s radio program, The Green Line. Breitbart News previously covered the costs of a slain Border Patrol agent’s funeral. The National Border Patrol Council endorsed Donald Trump for President after the candidate vowed to give veteran Border Patrol agents a voice in what is needed to properly secure the U.S.-Mexico border.


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