Federal Employee, Appears Prominently in GOP Campaign Ads
Washington, DC – A new USA Today piece titled, “‘Replacement theory’ fuels extremists and shooters. Now a top Border Patrol agent is spreading it,” details how Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, went on Fox News and claimed that the Biden administration has allowed “virtually an open border” because “they’re trying to change the demographics of the electorate.”
While claims that the Biden administration is actively working to weaken the nation’s southern border to allow in more immigrants and “change the demographics” of the nation are hardly new, the fact that the claims were made by a federal law enforcement employee and not a political commentator has experts on extremism concerned.
At America’s Voice, our GOP Ad Tracker monitors GOP messaging and advertising on immigration and xenophobia, and we have found 21 ads that have mentioned the National Border Patrol Council, with 17 of those using Brandon Judd’s name, image, or likeness. A few examples of ads we have found:
- Judd is a central figure in Jim Lamon’s Senate primary bid in Arizona, already appearing in three separate TV ads for Lamon. The most recent 30-second spot solely features Judd. He also appeared in the grossly offensive Lamon ad where he shoots at President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Sen. Kelly.
- Judd is also vocally taking sides in the North Carolina primary, recording a video defending Ted Budd after his Republican opponent Pat McCory ran an ad attacking Budd’s nativist credentials. Judd’s union had previously endorsed Budd, who ran an ad touting that endorsement.
- In Texas, Judd’s union endorsed George P. Bush’s primary bid for Texas Attorney General, and featured Judd and the endorsement in a primary attack ad. Bush has also engaged in similar rhetoric calling for Gov. Abbott to claim war powers after naming migrants and asylum seekers an invading force. Judd has, however, also endorsed Gov. Abbott and is featured in TV and radio ads for the Governor.
- Judd is silent but appears in the b-roll in ads for two Republican New Hampshire primary candidates: Kevin Smith, who is running for Senate, and Gail Huff Brown, who is running for NH-01.
- Other Republican campaigns that have used clips of Judd on Fox News to frame their anti-immigrant political attacks include Rep. Michael Guest (MS-03) and Rep. Drew Ferguson (GA-03). Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is also fond of using Judd as a validator for his political narrative about the border.
- In January, Judd signed onto a letter written by Senator Rick Scott and Rep. Elise Stefanik alongside Dan Stein, the President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group. FAIR was founded by the late John Tanton, a eugenicist and white nationalist who published, sold, and distributed an English edition of the racist French “great replacement” novel “Camp of the Saints.”
The full USA Today piece can be found here and it is also excerpted below:
“…Judd’s unfounded claim the Biden Administration is actively working to weaken the nation’s southern border to allow in more immigrants and ‘change the demographics’ of the nation is hardly new. The conspiracy theory that white Americans are being systematically ‘replaced’ by immigrants from majority non-white countries has been a trope of American white supremacists and other racist extremists for decades.
…In its most extreme form the theory claims a cabal of powerful politicians, aided by sinister Jewish power-brokers, is deliberately working to replace white Europeans and Americans with non-white immigrants who are more likely to support left-leaning politicians. Though Judd did not provide this kind of elaborate story, he and others have promoted a portion of it.
In the last few years, the theory has been increasingly embraced by conservative pundits. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson frequently invokes the theory, for example saying last April that ‘The Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World.’
…’This kind of rhetoric gives people the idea that they’re justified in being angry at people who they think are taking something away from them, or ruining their country,’ said Marilyn Mayo, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. ‘It can lead to people demonizing those folks or dehumanizing those folks.’
…on Fox News, Judd didn’t simply describe that the demographics of the country were changing. He claimed this change was being orchestrated by the Biden Administration. And that’s where a simple description of a changing electorate begins to sound similar to a white supremacist conspiracy theory.
…’Great Replacement Theory is one of the cornerstones of white supremacist propaganda,’ Holt said. ‘Conservative media has figured out how to give a nod to the Great Replacement Theory without using some of the more explicit language that you might see on a forum like Stormfront or on sites like the Daily Stormer by talking about ‘Changing demographics.’’
…Pedro Rios, a human rights advocate who works with several border-focused groups, said it is also especially troubling that somebody who speaks for, and is highly influential among, border patrol agents, is giving voice to this sort of rhetoric.
‘This provides political cover, for the agents on the ground that that Mr. Judd represents, to also espouse these white supremacist ideas and theories that then might drive how they conduct their work, and how they behave when they are detaining migrants,’ Rios said. That could lead to ‘much more violence, much more mistreatment and abusive practices by the Border Patrol.’”