A leading border security advocacy group is throwing its support behind Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) in his reelection bid, citing the lawmaker's "unique insight into the root cause of the out-of-control flood of illegal immigrants and deadly drugs into our country."
The National Border Patrol Council, an advocacy group comprised of some 18,000 Border Patrol agents, said Johnson—a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee—"has devoted more time and attention to securing our border than virtually any other member of Congress," according to a statement by the group provided to the Washington Free Beacon.
Johnson is facing a tough reelection battle in Wisconsin as Democrats try to flip the seat for challenger Mandela Barnes, the state's far-left lieutenant governor, who is being bankrolled by anti-police groups. In an election cycle where the porous southern border is likely to galvanize voters, Johnson's endorsement by the National Border Patrol Council could help tip the scales in his favor.
"The National Border Patrol Council has personally witnessed Senator Johnson's dedication to and care for all Wisconsinites," the group said in its statement. "Wisconsin and America need Senator Johnson's strong voice, caring spirit, and leadership in the U.S. Senate, which is why we are proud to endorse Senator Johnson to continue to be your advocate."
Johnson, the group said, was instrumental in Operation Safe Return, a bipartisan federal program initiated in 2019 that humanely deported illegals back to their countries of origin. The program was used as a model by the Department of Homeland Security when it developed its own programs to reduce the flow of undocumented children and families into America.
"By reducing the number of illegal border crossers, Senator Johnson was instrumental in allowing law enforcement to target criminal cartels and their profit," the group said.
Johnson is one of the most vocal proponents for increased border security and policies that will help stem the flow of undocumented migrants into the United States. Apprehensions at the border have crossed 4,000 per day on Biden's watch, according to figures published by Customs and Border Protection. The crisis has spiraled as drug cartels exploit children and families seeking to illegally enter America, leading to an increase in rape, crime, and other instances of abuse. Nearly 8,000 illegals are believed to be crossing the border each day, according to Johnson.
Experts expect two million illegal immigrant encounters in this fiscal year, according to research published Tuesday by the Republican National Committee.
"President Biden completely dismantled the very policies that had ended the surge. The border is now in a crisis that far exceeds anything during the previous administrations and the media is silent," Johnson's office said in an analysis published on his website.
Johnson has organized congressional trips to the border, most recently in July. The senator met with law enforcement officials to discuss the challenges they face, and he also spent time with local landowners to discuss the fallout they are facing due to the rising number of illegals.
"Open borders, a flood of illegal immigrants, a flood of deadly drugs, 40-year high inflation, record gasoline prices—these things didn't just happen," Johnson said during a press conference at the time. "These are the direct result of [Biden's] policies. But if you look very closely at this chart, we pretty well had the border solved. That's just another tragedy here. We had this problem fixed until Democrat presidential candidates started talking about the fact they would not deport and they would offer illegal immigrants free health care."