As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims victory over President Donald Trump's "immoral" border wall following the end of the longest U.S. partial government shutdown in history, wives of Border Patrol agents blasted Pelosi in a letter saying, she should look past Trump and instead observe what agents do every day and why a wall or barrier would help them.
Jill Demanski wrote the following to Pelosi amid the shutdown, during which her husband wasn't receiving a paycheck, Fox News reported:
We, the wives of the [Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol] would like to cordially invite you to come visit McAllen, Texas, as President Trump did. We would like to show you around! You don't need to bring any security detail. Our husbands/ ... significant others are actually very good at their jobs, thank goodness!. … We'd also appreciate if you'd stop pretending that you care about federal workers. If you did, you would care for their safety, not just their paychecks. We can hold out a while longer, if it means our husbands and communities are safer.
During a "Fox & Friends" interview Monday, Demanski and her friend Renea Perez — another Border Patrol wife — insisted that a wall or barrier is necessary for the sake of agents' safety and their ability to perform their duties.
"It can be overwhelming," Perez said. "They definitely need a wall or barrier in the high-traffic areas. It will allow them to do their job more efficiently and give them more time."
Demanski underscored that point: "I don't think it's fair that they're asking one or two agents to handle groups of hundreds of people crossing over at one time, and we see with these caravans more and more coming. We don't think it shows that they are worried about our agents' safety."
Don't make this about Trump
Pelosi has shown no signs of bending on the president's push for a wall, despite his offers of concessions — and despite her stated support for a wall when former President Barack Obama, a fellow Democrat, was in office.
But Demanski noted that "it is not President Trump that is necessarily asking for the wall. Border Patrol and our agents and experts here have been asking for it for years," she told "Fox & Friends."
"We finally have a president that has come here and seen first-hand the need for it and has had our back," Demanski continued. "I don't know of many presidents that could really have gone through the turmoil that he's gone through to try to help us get this. So again it's Border Patrol and the agents that are asking for it; it's not Trump. So you can support a wall without being a supporter of Trump; they don't have to go hand in hand."
Tough times for Border Patrol families, too
Perez and Demanski told "Fox & Friends" that going without paychecks during the shutdown was hard — but that they were willing to through the hardship to make things safer for agents.
"Bills don't stop, so we were feeling like we were forgotten," Perez told the show.