We’re just hours from the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, which is expected to draw a historic audience of as many as 100 million viewers. The record for the most viewed presidential debate is held by Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980.
While the media may have expected a victory for Hillary to be inevitable, both candidates enter the debate practically tied. According to Real Clear Politics‘ average of the state polls, Trump would win 266 electoral votes to Hillary’s 272 if the election were held today.
As we all know, immigration has been an issue central to the Trump campaign, and right ahead of the debate, Trump just scored a massive endorsement that solidifies his image as the pro-border security candidate. As The Hill reported: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday now has the backing of the union that represents 5,000 federal immigration officers and law enforcement support staff.
The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council made its first endorsement for a candidate running for an elected office, the Trump campaign said Monday.
Chris Crane, the president of the National ICE Council, described the men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement as the “last line of defense for American communities.” He continued, “Our 5,000 officers, underfunded and undermanned, are responsible for enforcing immigration laws in a nation of 320 million people.”
“Our officers come into daily contact with many of the most dangerous people in the world – cartel members, gang members, weapons traffickers, murder suspects, drug dealers, suspects of violent assault – yet ICE Officers are unable to arrest or are forced to release many of the most dangerous back into U.S. communities due to unscrupulous political agendas and corrupt leaders.”
Crane slammed President Obama for implementing “unconstitutional executive orders” and criticized Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for embracing them.
“Our officers are prevented from enforcing the most basic immigration laws, including laws against illegal work, illegal entry, illegal overstay and also the public charge law,” he said in the statement.
Crane called the immigration plan put forth by Clinton the “most radical immigration agenda proposal in U.S. history.”
He said her plan would result in thousands of American deaths and an “uncontrollable flood of illegal immigrations across U.S. borders” and framed her proposal as “total amnesty plus open borders.”
“Donald Trump is the only candidate who is willing to put politics aside so that we can achieve that goal,” Crane said. “We hereby endorse Donald J. Trump, and urge all Americans, especially the millions of lawful immigrants living within our country, to support Donald J. Trump, and to protect American jobs, wages and lives.”
Crane said Clinton received only 5 percent of the vote in a poll of the union’s membership.
When the issue of immigration comes up at tonight’s debate, this should provide Trump’s credibility on the issue with a shield against any attacks that Hillary will launch on the practicality of his policies. Whatever alternatives Hillary offers up, keep in mind that ninety-five percent of those actually working to secure the border disagree.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]