Brandon Judd, the president of the Border Patrol Council, advocated Saturday for the partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22.
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“If we can have a shutdown for long-lasting border security that secures the American public’s future, I’m all for it,” Judd said during an interview with FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto.
The partial government shutdown stretched into its third week due to an impasse over how much money to allocate to a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s uncertain how long the shutdown will last: Trump, while meeting with Democratic leaders on Friday, reportedly threatened to shut down the government for "months or even years."
Most federal operations come to a halt because the government loses its authority to spend money. The services that continue are those that are essential to national security and health, like veterans’ hospitals, Social Security and the military. The U.S. Postal Service will also continue to operate, because it's an independent body.
Judd, a 21-year border patrol veteran, lost his pay as a result of the shutdown, but stressed the importance of funding a wall and border security.
“I’m going to give in,” he said. “I’m going to sacrifice for that, because that’s what the American public wants. That’s what my children want, that’s what my family wants and that’s what the vast majority of people in this country want. They want border security, and we’re willing to give that to them.”
According to a poll conducted by Harvard CAPS/Harris, however, about 56 percent of 1,407 registered voters who were surveyed between Dec. 24 and 26 said they did not support a wall, compared to 44 percent who said they did.
Trump also threatened to declare a national emergency in order to build the wall without congressional approval. According to The New York Times, the president is allowed to take unilateral action in times of crisis - per the National Emergencies Act of 1976 - so long as they notify Congress, specify the circumstances that require the declaration and document all uses of executive authority.
Judd said he supported the president doing so.
“We’re going to support the shutdown,” he said. “We’re going to support national emergency.”