The federal government is allowing illegal immigrants to flow into the U.S. so they can vote, Donald Trump alleged Friday, fueling his own argument that November’s presidential election will be rigged against him.
At a roundtable with National Border Patrol Council members Friday morning inside Trump Tower, Art Del Cueto, national vice president of the union that represents Border Patrol agents, told the Republican presidential nominee that agents have been advised not to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records, according to a pool report.
Trump conveyed his appreciation for Border Patrol agents, telling them their jobs would be so much easier if they just allowed people to come across the border.
“But you love our country,” Trump said, adding, “You know many people are coming in with criminal records.”
Del Cueto told Trump that he has spoken to a number of agents who are in charge of processing. “And the problem that we’re seeing reflected through us as a voice is that some of these individuals that were apprehended with criminal records, they’re not, they’re checking their records, they see that they have criminal records, but they’re setting them aside because at this point they are saying immigration is so tied up with trying to get the people who are on the waiting list to hurry up and get them their immigration status corrected,” he said.
“Why? Trump asked. “So they can go ahead and vote before the election,” Del Cueto responded.
“Big statement, fellas,” Trump said, motioning to reporters, whom he accused of concealing from the public what they just heard. “You’re not going to write it. That’s huge. But they’re letting people pour into the country so they can go and vote.”
Del Cueto said the government wants “to hurry up and fast track them so they can go ahead and vote in the election,” prompting Trump to promote himself as a change agent.
“You hear a thing like that, and it’s a disgrace,” he said. “Well, it will be a lot different if I get elected.”
The real estate mogul suggested at last week’s presidential debate that he would accept the outcome of the election — but his rhetoric before and after his first faceoff with Hillary Clinton has contradicted that claim.
“The answer is, if she wins, I will absolutely support her,” Trump told debate moderator Lester Holt, indicating that he would concede the election if he lost to Clinton without floating conspiracies of a rigged election.