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Arizona Border Patrol Union Quietly Boosts Donald Trump

In a strong showing of support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, a major Arizona border patrol union released a statement Friday saying the union is “grateful” to Trump as the only candidate “outspoken” on the need for a secure border.

“The American public has continually called for a secure border and Donald Trump has promised to make this desire a reality,” the Tucson union, Local 2544, said in the statement, albeit with the caveat that it’s not an official endorsement, because the union does not endorse presidential candidates.

“We are confident that the National Border Patrol Council’s longstanding message about the unsecured border and much needed support for our Agents will be received well by Mr. Trump,” Local 2544 added. “The American public deserves to be secure in their own country and we encourage all voters to consider that candidate that has the political will to make it happen.”

Local 2544 is the largest local in the Border Patrol and the largest government in union in District 12, which covers Arizona, Hawaii, California and Nevada. The press release appears to be the strongest statement of support the union can make without violating a National Border Patrol Council rule against endorsing presidential candidates.

“On March 18, 2016, Donald Trump’s campaign reached out to Local 2544 about a potential endorsement,” the statement says. “I informed Mr. Trump’s campaign that NBPC had long-standing practice of not endorsing Presidential candidates and that as the President of Local 2544, and I would continue to adhere to that practice.”

“However, the National Border Patrol Council and Local 2544 are pleased to inform voters that Mr. Trump is the only candidate that has publicly expressed his support of our mission and our Agents,” it continues. “He has been an outspoken candidate on the need for a Secure Border and for this we are grateful.”

Trump has touted a January endorsement from Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is known for his tough stance on immigration. “He produces results,” Arpaio said in his endorsement.

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