Border patrol agents pull out of Donald Trump’s tour
The border patrol agents who were scheduled to show Donald Trump around the Mexico-U.S. crossing have cancelled the tour, but the billionaire is still heading south.
Local 2455, the union representing the Texas-based guards, said it will pull out of all of the 2016 candidate events.
“After careful consideration of all of the factors involved in this event … it has been decided by Local 2455 to pull out of all events involving Donald Trump,” the union said in a statement to CNN.
The union did not elaborate on the factors that made them cancel the Thursday tour.
Trump will still visit the border as scheduled Thursday, his spokeswoman said. He has found other agents to show him around.
UPDATE: Donald Trump’s trip to this border town Thursday was a profile in courage — in his own mind.
“They say it’s a great danger, but I have to do it. I love the country. There’s nothing more important than what I’m doing,” said the blustering Republican presidential hopeful, who set off a firestorm of controversy at his campaign launch by saying Mexico is sending “rapists” and other degenerates to the U.S.
After debarking from his private jet decked out in a navy blazer and a white cap bearing his slogan, “Make America Great Again,” Trump visited the sun-blasted southern border and the World Trade Bridge that connects it to Mexico, accompanied by Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz and Police Chief Ray Garner.
The chief politely contradicted Trump’s Wild West characterization of Laredo and said the pampered Gotham mogul had nothing to fear.
“Let me tell you something, since y’all not from here,” Garner said. “The city of Laredo is a very safe city. And we are very Hispanic here. And the people of Laredo are pleasant people to be around.”
Residents backed him up. “I thought he was joking,” said schoolteacher Amanda DeLeon, 25. “We are very family-oriented. There is almost no crime here.”
Trump, who has gotten bashed from both sides of the aisle for his derogatory comments about immigrants, jauntily continued to insist he will capture Latino votes.
“I’ll bring the jobs back — and you know the Hispanics are going to get those jobs, and they’re going to love Trump and they already do,” he said.
Maybe not quite all of them. About 20 protesters gathered outside the Laredo International Airport to protest the swaggering real estate mogul’s visit.
Demonstrator Eduardo Cortez, 62, said he refers to Trump as “Donald Duck” because “he’s a joke. No one takes him seriously. He’s not going to win, and he knows that. He only wants to divide people and spread racism.”
The brash White House contender originally planned to meet with officials of a union that represents border guards. But the group pulled out at the last minute.
Trump insisted the union had been silenced by the order of Washington muckety-mucks.
At his final stop, Paseo Real, Trump entered to applause from a group of about 100 border law enforcement agents and locals.
“They are incredible men and women and they just want to do their job. And they are really, really good at their jobs and they are not allowed to do it in many cases.”
Despite repeated questions, Trump never actually explained what it was that the border agents weren’t allowed to do.
He left locals scratching their heads. “If he ever comes back, I’d like to ask him to come over for a beer,” said Lucio Celso Garcia, 26. “I think it’s easy to put us all in one category when you don’t know people.”
(Edgar Sandoval is reporting from Laredo, Texas).
The NY Daily News: Border patrol agents pull out of Trump’s tour.