Border Patrol agent sues President Trump over shutdown

A Border Protection officer's union doesn't favor Trump when it comes to the shutdown

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published January 10, 2019 9:06AM (EST)


President Donald Trump may talk a good game about supporting America's border patrol agents, but a union that includes actual members of the border patrol has filed a federal lawsuit against Trump's administration over the government shutdown.

The National Treasury Employees Union has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the government shutdown, making them the second federal employees' union to do so, according to The Washington Post. The NTEU claims that more than 400,000 federal employees are now being forced to work without pay, including tens of thousands of their own members.

And it cites as one plaintiff a man named Albert Vieira, who is an officer for Customs and Border Protection, as well as other similarly classified individuals.

The Post went into detail about how Vieira has been wronged in this situation.

The Department of Homeland Security deployed Vieira to the southwest border in November. The transfer was part of an “agencywide initiative to combat illegal immigration,” according to court documents; Vieira is scheduled to remain there until Jan. 13.

Since the shutdown began, Vieira has continued to work six days a week. Like most federal employees, he is scheduled to receive a paycheck (for wages earned between Dec. 23 and Jan. 5) next week. Court documents also allege Vieira worked a 12-hour overtime shift Dec. 22, for which he is owed.

In his address on Tuesday night promoting a border wall, Trump trumpeted his support for border patrol agents, declaring that "Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis and they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation."

As recently as last month, Trump praised America's border patrol agents by tweeting, "With so much talk about the Wall, people are losing sight of the great job being done on our Southern Border by Border Patrol, ICE and our great Military. Remember the Caravans? Well, they didn’t get through and none are forming or on their way. Border is tight. Fake News silent!"

Although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer did not directly address the plight of America's border patrol agents on Tuesday, Schumer did indirectly do so when he said that Trump was "hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage."

Trump's attitude toward border patrol agents has also led to some other controversies. Last month a federal watchdog report revealed that Accenture, a company hired by Customs and Border Protection to recruit 7,500 new agents over the next five years, has only hired two agents within the past 10 months, according to Business Insider.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa