President Donald Trump singled out border patrol agents’ representatives Chris Crane and Brandon Judd for praise during a policy speech Wednesday, thanking them for their service and promising they will be allowed to carry out their jobs under his administration.
“We are going to restore the rule of law in the United States. Before we go any further, I want to recognize the ICE and border patrol officers in this room today, and to honor their service, and not just because they unanimously endorsed me for president,” Trump said.
“That helps! But that’s not the only reason,” he joked. “I also want to acknowledge two individuals in the audience who will play a very, very important role going forward. I’d like to recognize Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, and Chris Crane… the president of the National ICE Council. You guys are about to be very, very busy doing your jobs they want you want to do them.”
Trump pointed them out in the audience to applause and thanked them.
The National ICE Council, which represents thousands of ICE agents, endorsed Trump ahead of the first presidential debate—the first time the Council ever endorsed any candidate for public office.
“America has been lied to about every aspect of immigration in the United States,” Crane said when announcing the endorsement. “We can fix our broken immigration system, and we can do it in a way that honors America’s legacy as a land of immigrants, but Donald Trump is the only candidate who is willing to put politics aside so that we can achieve that goal. We hereby endorse Donald J. Trump, and urge all Americans, especially the millions of lawful immigrants living within our country, to support Donald J. Trump, and to protect American jobs, wages and lives.”
Crane himself worked tirelessly during the presidential campaign to protest the handcuffing of ICE officers the Obama administration looked the other way while massive surges of illegal immigration flowed into the country. Ignored by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration, Crane found in Trump a candidate who wholeheartedly supported law enforcement. Trump went out of his way to organize a meeting with Crane and other ICE officers and invited Crane to appear at a campaign rally with him.
“This is not the person that you frequently see on TV. He was very welcoming, very sincere. He really wanted to hear from boots on the ground, officers out in the field about what’s happening,” Crane said. “There’s no two ways about it—he was definitely more informed on the issues than a lot of members of Congress that I’ve met with in my lifetime.”
Judd had also appeared with Trump during a Fox News town hall, saying, “We have to end the catch-and-release program. You’ve got to get rid of that magic magnet that is bringing these people over here.” The National Border Patrol Council, which represents over 17,000 border patrol agents, likewise endorsed Trump in a bold statement in March. “Mr. Trump is as bold and outspoken as other world leaders who put their country’s interests ahead of all else,” they stated. “Our current political establishment has bled this country dry, sees their power evaporating, and isn’t listening to voters who do all the heavy lifting. Trump is opposed by the established powers specifically because they know he is the only candidate who actually threatens the established powers that have betrayed this country.”
Trump and his campaign maintained that immigration enforcement policies will be determined by the men and women doing the dangerous hard work of securing U.S. borders, not by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
Trump signed two executive orders and said he will enforce existing immigration laws rather than crafting new ones.