The partial closure of the federal government increasingly divides the Border Patrol agents, who continue to work without pay and see the economic stability of their families in jeopardy, although some hope that the president, Donal Trump, announces today measures that end this situation.
At a national level, it is estimated that 800,000 workers are being affected by the closure of the Government, which today is 17 days. Of these employees, 20,000 are Border Patrol agents, mostly caring for the Mexican border in states such as California, Texas and Arizona.
Officials posted in Texas and Arizona told Efe anonymously that they closely follow President Trump’s proposals on national security.
They also spoke of the power struggle that is currently taking place in Washington D.C at the president’s insistence on obtaining funds to build a border wall with Mexico.
“I think President Trump is the only president who has really taken the security of our border seriously, but at the same time I think a border wall is not the only solution,” an agent who asked to be identified as D.K.
He said that since the government’s closure began, there is nervousness among his colleagues, who are in the middle of the migration debate that exists at the national level.
“For some people we are ‘heroes’ who work in the first line of defense, for others we are the ‘villains’,” said D.K.
The Democrats’ refusal to grant more than 5,000 million dollars requested by Trump for the construction of the controversial wall, and the opposition of the president to sign any proposal lacking that amount, have prevented a new budget from being approved to restore the operations of the Government.
Trump yesterday gave a turn to his strategy in favor of the wall, by announcing a message to the nation and a visit to the border with Mexico, in the third week of an administrative closure with no sign of a solution.
Trump will seek to add support in the public opinion to address in an address that will be broadcast on Tuesday in a prime time the “crisis” that the country lives on the southern border, which will arrive two days later to meet with the authorities in area.
Meanwhile, the last payment that the border agents received was that of the week of the end of last year, and the first payment they would not receive would be this Friday, January 11.
“I hope that tonight President Trump will give us a signal that an agreement can be reached soon,” said D.K., who supports Trump’s proposal to build a steel wall on the border and not necessarily of reinforced concrete.
The agent maintained that the idea of not receiving a payment for his hard work is having a moral impact on several of his colleagues, who daily patrol the border.
“We all have bills to pay, we pay rent, the car, health insurance, credit cards, we have the same responsibilities as any other parent,” said D.K.
The agent indicated that these are especially difficult times, since after the holidays there are “many accounts to pay”.
Even so, D.K. He said he supports Trump’s decisions.
Other of his colleagues assured Efe to be upset by the position taken by the National Union of Border Patrol, which last week gave all its support to Trump in the closure of the Government, although it could last “months or maybe years “, as stated by the president.
“At any point where we have built the wall it has worked, it is absolutely necessary for border agents and to secure the border,” said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Union during a press conference last week in Washington D.C.
“We need those physical barriers and we appreciate the efforts of President Trump,” he added.
The closure of the government is also having an impact on the crossing of the ports of entry in border states such as Arizona.
In recent days there have been long lines of waiting, some of three hours, on the outskirts of the sentry boxes. The wait may be longer during the night.
To date, the government closure that lasted the longest took place during the administration of President Bill Clinton and took 21 days. (EFEUSA) .-