In the News

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson talks border issues, Chinese balloons and more in Opelousas

Daily Advertiser: Bobby Ardoin

U.S. Congressman Mike Johnson delivered criticisms during a Monday St. Landry Parish town hall meeting regarding Biden administration's reaction to border control decisions, information about objects shot down over North America and federal government agencies he accused of becoming politicized.

Johnson also told a large crowd that Chinese are apparently testing the ability of Biden officials to respond to the recent intrusion of U.S. air space with an espionage balloon destroyed by an air force jet fighter off the South Carolina coast Feb. 6.

The appearance at the Delta Grand in Opelousas by Johnson, a Republican from Shreveport-Bossier, was his first in St. Landry since he began a third term representing the Fourth Congressional District after receiving no opposition in the November election.

Johnson now represents all of the parish and 15 others from the Arkansas border to South Louisiana, following 2022 Congressional redistricting.

Community liaison Jerri Ledoux said Johnson also spoke at similar meetings during the day at Fort Polk and Grant Parish.

Border issues
Johnson said security at U.S. border crossings has become uncontrollable.

“Our borders are not a crisis anymore. They are a catastrophe,” Johnson pointed out.

Johnson estimated that 4.7 million undocumented individuals have crossed the U.S. and Mexican borders during the last two years.

Border control agents are powerless to react, Johnson said, since they have been stripped of their powers to enforce federal regulations.

Johnson also said that at least 100 of what he called “known terrorists,” have entered the U.S. illegally.

Some of the illegal entries Johnson added, have brought large amounts of Fentanyl which are made in China and are being sold by Mexican cartels.

Johnson said one solution that could halt the increase in border entries is to have individuals wanting to enter the U.S. remain in Mexico until it is determined whether they have any criminal records.

Secured borders, Johnson said, are essential.

“If we don’t have borders, we don’t have sovereignty. If we don’t have sovereignty then we don’t have a country,” said Johnson.

Balloons and unidentified objects
Johnson additionally criticized the way the Biden administration has handled informing the public about the Chinese spy balloon and the subsequent destruction of three unidentified objects over Alaska and an area near Michigan.

“There’s a lot that the White House and the Pentagon are not telling us. When that happens, you open it up for conspiracy theories,” Johnson said.

Johnson said both the balloons and objects that were shot down were not UFOs, but instead were of Chinese origin.

“The balloon was flying over military installations, taking pictures and collecting data and then transmitting it to China,” Johnson said.

China, according to Johnson, intends to “destroy America.” The Chinese government, Johnson said, is examining how the Biden Administration handled the balloon and unidentified object destructions.

The whole balloon and unidentified object episode Johnson said, has also presented more questions than answers.

“We have shot down four in the last eight days. There are a lot more questions than answers, such as why did it take so long to shoot (the balloon),” Johnson noted.

Federal agencies
Johnson said that over the next few weeks he will join a House committee that examines the role that federal government agencies have played recently in connection with key political issues.

Agents who have represented the Department of Justice, the Central Intelligence Agency, Internal Revenue Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation have, according to Johnson, sometimes become “weaponized” and “polarizing instruments” that are used, he alleged,  to empower the positions of opposition parties.

Johnson also accused some inside the FBI as “hopelessly corrupt.”

Louisiana congressional delegation
Johnson said although the Louisiana Congressional delegation contains six members and is smaller than those representing other states, Louisiana is nonetheless represented well around the Capitol.

“I think per capita we have one of the strongest delegations in Congress. All of us have appointments on important committees,” Johnson said.

Johnson pointed to Steve Scalise, who has become the House majority leader and Republican Clay Higgins, now the chairman of a House sub-committee.

Representative Trey Carter has been recently selected as vice-chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Johnson said.