MCALLEN, TX— On Friday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) visited McAllen, Texas to witness first-hand the horrors of Joe Biden’s border crisis. As the former Chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Sen Johnson visited the border several times, most recently in March 2021. President Joe Biden has not visited the border as President.
While in Texas, Sen. Johnson participated in a night tour with law enforcement and an aerial tour led by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Additionally, he met with local landowners to discuss the impact of open borders on Texas communities, spoke with CBP about the challenges they face while securing the border and received a briefing from Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety about state efforts to maintain safety and security along the 1,254 mile border.
Following his visit, Sen. Johnson participated in a press conference with his Senate Republican colleagues.
Senator Johnson’s remarks can be found here and below.
“I want to thank Senator Cornyn and Senator Cruz for hosting us. I want to thank all of our hosts. I want to thank the men and women of Customs and Border Protection who are not given the support they deserve from this administration. I want to thank the members of the news media for showing up to cover this. Unfortunately, most of the mainstream media have just turned a blind eye to this travesty.
“As the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, I've been down to the border many times. I always learn something new. But I wish I could adequately convey, on a personal level to anybody listening to me, how profoundly disturbing it is.
“As Ted described, last night to encounter two little girls unaccompanied with just a little piece of paper in a plastic bag with their birth certificate and an address and a phone number to connect them to somebody they know here in this country. Anybody who is a father or a grandfather, has a daughter or a granddaughter – think of a six or seven year old put in the hands of some of the most evil people on the planet.
“I had not heard of the rape tree, the panty tree, the taunting tree. I had never heard of that. Our last trip down here, we saw dead bodies floating in the Rio Grande. In my hearings, I've heard of children being sold for $84. How do you think the young women pay off their five, six, seven, $8,000 human trafficking fee. I think we all know.
“In our briefing a little bit earlier with Customs and Border Protection, just in this sector, they were describing how many encounters they have per week – 23,000. Now calculated, that generates for those human traffickers $153 million a week. Just do a simple back of the envelope calculation – that translates to $18.3 billion per year. That’s what the human traffickers are generating in revenue just from the people Border Patrol encountered. Think of all got-a-ways.
“So ever since President Biden entered office and dismantled all the successful programs that had pretty well secured the border, stopped the flow of unaccompanied children and family units exploiting our laws. We had actually reduced the number of single adults coming across the border. He dismantled all of those programs.
“I've been saying that his administration is facilitating the multibillion dollar business model of some of the most evil people on the planet. And you come down here and you just get a small sense of the deprivations, and it is profoundly disturbing.
“But let me end by just – this is available, I've got copies on my website. This is a chart I started back in about 2015 as I was tracking the number of unaccompanied children that turned into a humanitarian crisis under Obama. That's what he called it with 2000 people a day. The last couple of months, we've had over 7,700 people per day. Overwhelming border patrol, opening up the lanes for the deadly drugs that are impacting and killing Americans in every state of the union, including Wisconsin. But I refer you to this chart because what it shows you is the cause and effect. This didn't just happen. This isn't ‘oh boy Joe Biden is unlucky.’
“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. These are the direct result of his 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.
“So single adult illegal intrusions increased, and then of course, when Joe Biden became president, he completely opened up the borders. So I call on President Biden. I call on Vice President Harris. I call on Secretary Mayorkas. Come down here to the border. You witness these depredations. You experience the profound level of being troubled by what you witnessed. But you must come here and witness it.”