Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) told MSNBC on Thursday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan was “appeasing” President Donald Trump by publicly stating his support for the president’s proposed border wall — but the rank and file officers openly acknowledge such a wall would never adequately stem illegal immigration.
“You say that you’re for border security and you represent the towns along the border, and you believe it could be done in a cyber way, a better way than building a physical barrier,” host Katy Tur said. But she noted that Commissioner McAleenan “says we absolutely need the wall,” and asked for Gonzalez’s response.
“Nobody’s going to contradict the president, everyone’s afraid of losing their job,” Gonzalez replied. “I have good friends that work for the Border Patrol.”
“I go out and have a beer with them and talk about border security,” he continued. “When we talk about the wall, in private, they know it doesn’t work.” Gonzalez added that those determined to enter the U.S. illegally would find ways around, over, or under any physical barrier, “at a monumental cost to taxpayer dollars.”
“So you’re saying that he’s just appeasing the president,” asked Tur.
“I hate to say that, but I believe that that’s what it is,” Gonzalez said. He added that border cities were some of the safest in the country and invited Trump to join him on a walking tour of McAllen, Texas. “It is much safer than Washington DC or New York, the cities that he’s lived in.”
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