President Donald Trump's decision to deploy members of the National Guard to the southern U.S. border with Mexico is "a colossal waste of resources," according to the leader of a union representing members of the U.S. Border Patrol.
National Border Patrol Council president Brandon Judd, who represents roughly 15,000 agents, panned the measure implemented by the president last month aimed at beefing up border security and curbing illegal immigration as fruitless, according to a Los Angeles Times report released late Thursday. "We have seen no benefit," Judd said.
"When I found out the National Guard was going to be on the border I was extremely excited," the union chief said, pointing to the impact past troop deployments had in easing functions for the Border Patrol.
But he added that this time around, "that has not happened at all."
The criticism marks a departure for a group that during the 2016 elections endorsed Trump's presidential run and hailed his push to tighten border security. It was the first time the union had endorsed a presidential candidate.
The president in April activated a plan to dispatch National Guard troops to the border, with Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen announcing at the time the move was intended to help alleviate the task of border patrol agents.
The action mirrored that of his immediate predecessors, with former President George W. Bush having deployed roughly 6,000 members of the National Guard from 2006 to 2008 and former President Barack Obama sending about 1,200 National Guard members to the border in 2010.
For his push, Trump garnered commitments from governors to deploy 1,600 National Guards troops to states bordering Mexico, though the president initially sought between 2,000 and 4,000 to be deployed.
A Border Patrol spokeswoman told the Times that the troops deployed have assisted with 3,924 deportations, 1,116 "turn backs" of migrants into Mexico and the seizure of 3,486 pounds of marijuana.