As he received the endorsement of a major union of border patrol agents on Friday in New York, Donald Trump accused the Obama Administration of ignoring criminal records of illegal immigrants who are trying to become American citizens, all in an effort to more swiftly make them eligible to vote in the United States.
But neither Trump nor the union offered any evidence to back up that claim.
In the meeting, Trump was told by border patrol union official Art Del Cueto that agents were being instructed to allow more people into the United States who want to apply for citizenship – and not pay attention to any criminal record of those people.
“Why?” Trump asked.
“So they can go ahead and vote before the election,” Del Cueto told Trump.
“Big statement, fellas,” Trump said to the pool of reporters allowed in for a photo opportunity, though he predicted the news media would ignore the issue.
“You’re not going to write it,” Trump said. “But they’re letting people pour into the country so they can go and vote.”
But a few hours after that meeting, a spokesman for the main union of border patrol officers said there was no evidence to back up the charge that people were being allowed in and swiftly processed so they could vote.
Shawn Moran, spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council, said some agents have claimed they are being asked to ignore the criminal history of illegal immigrants so they could then be eligible to vote – but Moran told the Associated Press that there was no evidence to support that allegation.
Trump was spending today off the campaign trail; along with the meeting on immigration, Trump also sat down with other national security advisers.
Trump will join Speaker Paul Ryan on Saturday in Wisconsin; then the GOP nominee will make his way to St. Louis for Sunday’s debate with Hillary Clinton.