JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE ACLU OF MONTANA AND MONTANA HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK
Two months ago, the ACLU of Montana, Montana Human Rights Network, and 10 other organizations sent a letter to Senator Tester detailing CBP abuse in Montana and demanding that he stand up for immigrants and American citizens living in Montana. He has yet to respond or take any action to stop egregious CBP behavior on the Hi-Line – his own back yard.
On Friday, the National Border Patrol Council announced its endorsement of Senator Tester for his re-election. We’re disappointed that Senator Tester asked for and accepted the endorsement of the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) union. Brandon Judd leads an organization that is purposefully stoking fears about people based on the way they look and the language they speak. Mr. Judd’s organization has a history of turning a blind eye to CBP agents using excessive force, aiding para-militias, and obstructing humanitarian aid. Mr. Judd and his union promote wasteful spending on a border wall that could be used to provide healthcare to Montanans. We know that in small, rural places like Montana, our communities and relationships are built on respect and decency, not on extremist stances and divisive politics. Senator Tester can use his powerful position to change hurtful rhetoric and bring people together. Instead he is courting an agency that acts as the enforcement arm of Trump’s immigration machine and detains his constituents without cause.