Brandon Judd on Waiting for a More Restrictive Border Bill: “We Might as Well Run Out and Try To Catch a Leprechaun”

Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Council, joined the Guy Benson Show today to discuss the latest on the bipartisan border bill in the U.S. Senate. Judd and his organization endorsed the border related sections of the bill, which is in stark contrast to many other conservative politicians and organizations. Critics of the bill say that the bill doesn’t go far enough to protect the border and restrict illegal crossings, but Judd claims that the bill is better than the status quo. Listen to the full interview and read the full transcript below.

Full Interview:

Listen to the full podcast:


Judd had this to say on supporting Senate border bill:

“It gives us tools you cannot have under an executive order… this puts a cap on how many people we can take into custody. That is a huge win… the status quo is not good enough.”

Judd had this to say on the pros and cons of the bill:

“There are some very big wins in this bill. There are some bad things. Absolutely. But you let it see the light of day. Because if you let it see the light of day, then you can try to get the amendments in there that you need. But by not letting it see the light of day, you’re killing everything that is good in the bill.”

Judd had this to say on the need to accept a bipartisan border bill:

“You’re not going to get a perfect bill if it’s going to be bipartisan, but if it’s not bipartisan, you’re not going to get something passed. So, I mean, we’re chasing unicorns, and we might as well run out and try to catch a leprechaun at this point. We have got to get something. We need something.”


Full Transcript:

Guy Benson: With us now is Brandon Judd. He’s the president of the National Border Council. Brandon. Welcome back.

Brandon Judd: Good to be with you. Thank you.

Guy Benson: Okay, so let’s talk about this bill. And it might be a moot point because it sounds like it’s already not going anywhere in the house, according to all the leaders in the House. And then even in the U.S. Senate, where it was negotiated and it is originated. It looks like the Republicans are going to kill it before it goes anywhere. And there’s even some Democrats who are against the bill. So maybe this is all academic. Nevertheless, I know that you have been far more supportive of this legislation than a lot of conservatives and border hawks have been. So we’ve heard from some of the critics, I want to give you an opportunity to sort of walk through what you like about this thing.

Brandon Judd: It gives us tools that we don’t have it. It gives us tools that no president has ever had. It gives us tools that you can’t even have under an executive order. These are these are tools that would allow us to go a lot further in securing the border than what we can today, if we remain status quo. We’re talking about in the memo in the month of December, 12,000 apprehensions per day. And when we have 12,000 apprehensions per day, that means we’re releasing at least 11,500 of those apprehensions into our country. And this stops that. This puts a cap on how many people we can take into custody. That is a huge win. This does not allow us to release single adults, including those of military age, anymore. That’s a huge win. There’s there’s a lot of wins in this, in this bill. There are some things that I don’t like. We put that out in our statement. It’s not a perfect bill, but it goes a long way to doing what is necessary. The other thing is, is executive orders come and go. As administrations come and go, this will go past any administration. This will handcuff bad administrations, and it will enhance good administrations.

Guy Benson: Okay, so I’ve seen there are some conservatives saying there’s really nothing good in the bill. We had Chip Roy here yesterday and he said, you know, maybe a little bit here or there. But overall the thrust of this thing is bad and could make things worse because the concern and I have multiple concerns. But one of the concerns being articulated is it kind of enshrines a certain level of dysfunction that’s already existing under Biden as like, okay, this is not what we love, but it’s kind of our baseline. You Know, do you disagree with that?

Brandon Judd: Okay. I absolutely 100% disagree with that. Our laws today already enshrines this chaos. Our laws allow for this chaos. The Supreme Court in 2023 overturned a fifth Circuit court, ruling that says the administration has the right to release people. So our laws are already enshrining what we’re having. What this does is it will put a cap on that number. That is, again, that is a huge win. Does it go far enough? Is it H.R. two? Absolutely. It’s not. You’re not going to get a perfect bill if it’s going to be bipartisan, but if it’s not bipartisan, you’re not going to get something passed. So, I mean, we’re chasing unicorns, and we might as well run out and try to catch a leprechaun at this point. We have got to get something. We need something. This could have been, in my opinion, this could have been a win for the Republicans. The Republicans could have said we forced Biden to give us this. We forced him to sign this into law. And I think that they absolutely could have messaged it that way. The status quo is not good enough, and that’s what we’re going to remain at. Whereas this bill would have given us things that would have been that would have allowed us to get rid of the status quo.

Guy Benson: So when you say would have that sort of suggest that you believe, as I suggested, this is probably dead. Is that your understanding?

Brandon Judd: Is that it is dead? It’s dead. It’s it’s gone. I mean, McConnell and McConnell just said it today. So it’s it’s, you know, look, it’s a good conversation to have because we’re going we’re going to need these things in the future. Any Republican president would love to have this. Think about what it does. The the the asylum bar in the credible fear that is raised to what is nearly what what the asylum is. Any president would love to have that just takes away judicial review. We don’t we no longer even have to have the courts involved in this. That’s a huge win. The amount of time that this country shut it down, that’s a huge win. There are some very big wins in this bill. There are some bad things. Absolutely. But you let it see the light of day. Because if you let it see the light of day, then you can try to get the amendments in there that you need. But by not letting it see the light of day, you’re killing everything that is good in the bill.

Guy Benson: So I know that you are familiar with my former colleague for years at, Julio Rosas, who’s done a lot of work down at the border. Right. And he, I saw earlier on social media, said he’s spoken to some of your rank and file members who are upset. They feel like the union and you endorse this bill that they think is a terrible bill, and they’re mad about it. How much have you heard from your rank and file? Is is there dissension in the ranks or.

Brandon Judd: No, no. Okay. Every single, every single rank and file member that we have spoken with and we have explained exactly what this means. Yes, there is, there is. People are upset when they listen to the rhetoric, when they don’t get into the bill, when they don’t read the bill. But once they’ve read the bill and understand exactly what it does. No, there is there is nobody upset. And I love I love anonymous people. I love it when…  Julio Rosas has not arrested one person. Not one person.

Guy Benson: Sure, he’s just relaying what is he? I think that he’s not making that call.

Brandon Judd: I get it. I well, let then let those individuals look. If Julio Rosas wants to have an honest conversation, then let’s talk about what the bill does. I haven’t seen him do that. I have not seen him put out anything of what the bill does or doesn’t do. He says that it’s bad, but let’s have that conversation. Does it raise the credible fear standard? It does. Does it put a cap on how many people we can take into custody? It does. Does it ensure that single adults aren’t going to get released, including military age men? It does. It does those things. And who can argue that that’s bad?

Guy Benson: So you’re making the case. And to me, this is not about Julio. This is about the front line agents he spoke to. If they are upset about this, you’re saying it’s because you haven’t had the chance to, like, go through the specifics of it and make that proactive case, because when you do, folks come around. That’s been your experience on this?

Brandon Judd: Absolutely. Absolutely. I haven’t had one yet that has not recognized and understood the good things in this bill. And this bill actually could have driven down the number of illegal border crossers.

Guy Benson: Okay.

Brandon Judd: So exactly what we all want.

Guy Benson: For full disclosure, Brandon, I talked on this program yesterday about why I’m opposed to the bill, and I didn’t do it in sort of vituperative terms. I didn’t say that this is, you know, a complete, unmitigated disaster. And anyone who has anything to do with it is supported as a traitor. I’ve seen a lot of that rhetoric that I don’t think is helpful. I’ve also said that this bill would improve some things, I think in my mind for sure. The problem that I have, and you’ve addressed this a little bit, but I wonder if you can at least sympathize with where I’m coming from. And I get, you know, you guys are the ones doing the job. I know Steve Doocy kind of made that point earlier this morning on Fox and Friends. Like, if you guys feel like some of these tools could help you. I think it’s important to listen to those voices. On the other hand, I really do not trust Joe Biden or Alejandro Mayorkas to enforce any laws because they’ve already demonstrated for three plus years when there are parts of laws that they don’t like, when there are laws on the books that they feel like they could just wave away with discretion. They do it. They are effectively pro illegal immigration. So giving them a little bipartisan political win that they can tout on the campaign trail, when they can maybe enforce it for a couple of months, and then if they get reelected, go back to just flouting and undermining the law. I, I think it’s crazy to empower them more or to give them a new law when they have a demonstrated record of ignoring the law. What is your response to that? Is there some Truth to that?

Brandon Judd: There is there’s there’s a lot of truth to that. And I don’t trust Joe Biden to do the right thing by by any stretch of the imagination. Do I trust Biden or Mayorkas to do the right thing? But what I would say is, well, then why even have any laws? Then? Why pass any laws then? I mean, are we not going to have laws against murder? Because we’re we’re afraid that people aren’t going to enforce it? Or are we going to have laws? Well.

Guy Benson: Hang on, hang on though, just just respectfully, we generally enforce the laws against murder in this country. We have a federal government that is not enforcing the laws on immigration. So that’s there’s a category difference here based on a standard of behavior from this crowd. And I know you know this because we talk about it all on on the air all the time.

Brandon Judd: Absolutely. But this law would go beyond Joe Biden. This law would go, go. It goes to every single president. It would enhance what a Republican president could do. It would limit what a bad president could do if they’re going to follow laws. But look, I’m not going to throw my hands in the air and say, I’m not going to pass a law because he’s not going to enforce it anyway. I’m going to get the laws on the books. That’s why we have the court system. If Joe Biden doesn’t follow the laws, then we sue him and we have the courts step in and say, you must enforce the law. That’s what happens in this country. So so yeah, I’m not going to just say, oh my gosh, I’m not going to pass a law because I’m afraid that Biden’s not going to enforce it. He’s not going to. But then we sue him, get it to the courts, have the Supreme Court come down and say, no, you have to. That’s what the law says.

Guy Benson: Okay. So I’m going for. So let me follow up here with another question because there are components of this bill which again appears to be DOA, not going anywhere. But there are components of the legislation in the package that I thought were promising or good. There were other things that I was concerned about. I think some things are kind of hazy and difficult to discern what the truth is, but I thought it was kind of a mixed bag. I also said I would be open to having more of a discussion around a bill like this. If Joe Biden showed any good faith to earn back some of the trust that he has completely eviscerated for the last three years. And to that end, I played the clip of him the other day on the show. I’m sure you saw this, Brandon. Joe Biden just saying to reporters, I have no more authority I can use. There’s nothing more I can do. I need Congress to act, you know, and I know that is an absolute flagrant lie. He can do a lot with executive power that he’s refusing to do. Just going back to stuff that was working from the last administration. He’s still lying about that. He lied about your agents in the whipping scandal, which wasn’t a real thing. He lied about Texas letting people drown. That was fake. You came on and debunked that. He lies all the time about this issue. So my point was, if there’s going to be a good faith negotiation and a good faith passing of a law where an administration is going to have to participate on some level in enforcement, why not have him at least take several of the steps that he has the power to do right now, to show that he is willing to reverse bad decisions and then have a conversation around a bill like this. But not only is he apparently unwilling to do that, he’s still telling falsehoods like he’s his hands are tied. There’s nothing more he can do. That to me again, just screams ongoing bad faith.

Brandon Judd: It is, it is. And he lies all the time. Look, today in his press conference, he said that Republicans need to grow a spine and that’s wrong. He needs to grow a sponge. He needs to be the one that gives executive action. But as far as the bill is concerned, there are again, we if we chill it, we don’t even get to propose amendments. We supported the bill hoping that it was going to see the light of day, get the amendments that are necessary to kill, if you will, the poison pills. But now it’s just completely dead. And we’re never, as Mitch McConnell said. And this is correct, unless you have a 60, 60 number majority in the Senate. We are never going to get these, these, these measures again. So let’s just say worst case scenario, let’s say that Biden wins again. We are now consigned to 12,000 apprehensions a day, and most likely even more than that. Worst case scenario, if another bad president comes in, we’re now consigned. This bill would have tied their hands. And again, we have the court systems that will tell them if they refuse to follow the law, the court systems have the right to step in and say, no, you will enforce the law.

Guy Benson: Okay, so last subject here before we let you go, because we’re we got a break coming up in a few minutes. But I’ve made this point a couple times. I want to get your reaction to it. I saw Chris Murphy, the lead Democrat on this, along with Chuck Schumer. He was out there tweeting a bunch of assurances to the left wing being like, oh, don’t worry, it’s not going to do X, Y, and Z. He said. The border never closes under this bill, which is a very different tune than what we’re hearing from some other people. And one of the questions I’ve had is if they’re saying, okay, and I know, like there’s controversy around this 5000 number, at some point there would be a trigger point where this border shutdown would be required with certain, you know, potential carve outs. And Biden can pause it for a while and all that stuff. But they’re saying at a certain point a certain number of crossings it triggers a complete shutdown. I’m sitting here thinking, okay, if they’re admitting that they can just do the shutdown, why not just do that? If they’re admitting the government can shut down the border, then shut down the border.

Brandon Judd: Guy, they should they should. If if Biden was going to do what’s right by the American people, he would use his executive authority right now to shut down the border. He’s not going to it’s not going to happen under his executive authority. He’s not going to do it because he doesn’t care about the American people.

Guy Benson: But when Chris Murphy, the Democrat from Connecticut, says, oh, don’t worry, the more the border never shuts down under this bill, that that what is he talking about?

Brandon Judd: If if I’m going to opine what he’s talking about, he’s talking about legitimate travel and trade at the ports of entry. That’s what if I’m going to opine. Look, I haven’t heard his quote. I would have to hear if there was a tweet.

Guy Benson: It was a tweet. So you can look it up.

Brandon Judd: But the yeah, but the law is very clear that between the ports of entry it gets shut down. Period, period. Now if. He’s saying that that guy’s travel and trade, legitimate travel and trade is going to continue. Well, it should continue. Legitimate travel and trade. But if we’re talking about shutting down the border between the ports of entry, that’s a very good thing.

Guy Benson: Brandon Judd: is the president of the National Border Council. He’s here pretty frequently talking about the mess down there. And we want to bring to you a variety of opinions on different matters, including this one. We’re going to hear from a congressperson who is adamantly on the other side of this one, coming up in the next hour. But, Brandon, you’re on the front lines. You know how this works. You think that there’s a lot of good in the bill? It might be dead, but I wanted to bring that to the audience anyway. Brandon Judd:, thanks so much for your time.

Brandon Judd: Thank you guy. Appreciate it.