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November 21, 2023

The Crisis at the Border Has Come to Illinois

Earlier this month, I was in Yuma, Arizona to visit our southern border. As a husband, father, and judge I was horrified by what I saw. And you should be too.

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I spent my career in law enforcement – serving as a prosecutor, private attorney, and judge. I’ve dealt with some of the most violent criminals in Illinois. During my time on the bench, I was appointed to the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council as well as oversaw PATH Court – a full-spectrum plan to combat human trafficking and support survivors. I spent my career fighting for safe streets, safe communities, and safe families.

It has always been my mission to make Illinois a safe and prosperous place to call home. What I saw at the border was an absolute disrespect and disregard for the rule of law. Our government is failing us. Eric Sorensen and Joe Biden are allowing millions of illegal immigrants, including criminals and terrorists, to pour across our border. They are allowing thousands of pounds of deadly drugs to flood the streets of every single county in America. And they are allowing human trafficking to skyrocket. Border crossings are up 300% since Biden took office. Suspected terrorists at the border have increased 5,533%. And human trafficking arrests have shot up 50% in the last year.

Judge Joe Pic 1

Judge Joe Pic 1

The chaos and lawlessness is shocking. It is putting all of us, even thousands of miles away, in danger. 

I saw firsthand how the cartel uses tunnels to smuggle drugs into our country. I heard from the local food bank and the medical center about how their resources are being depleted by the influx of migrants. Last year alone, the Yuma Regional Medical Center spent over 26 million dollars caring for illegal immigrants. The hospital is completely overwhelmed with patients and often, American citizens who are in need of care are forced to drive 80 miles or more to a different hospital.

The most heartbreaking part is that this crisis only exists because the Biden-Sorensen agenda promotes it. When I’m in Congress, I will work hard to finish building the wall and secure the border once and for all. I will increase funding and resources for our border patrol officers who are on the frontlines of this crisis. And I will treat the cartels like the dangerous criminals that they are. Anyone who dares to bring dangerous drugs into our country and take innocent American lives should expect to be met with the full force of the law.

Sorensen and Biden didn’t just fail to fix the problem; they caused it.

Here in Illinois, our governor has bused tens of thousands of migrants to Chicago, and the city’s resources are so overwhelmed, Governor Pritzker is now calling on other cities to take in these illegal immigrants and is spending over 40 million dollars of taxpayer money to accommodate them. Everyday Illinois families are struggling to get by with the rising cost of living and yet our government is rewarding criminal behavior with tax-dollar handouts.

The human toll of this crisis is devastating. In the past year, our home state lost nearly 4,000 people to drug overdose. And data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Illinois accounts for the sixth-most fentanyl overdoses in the country. How many of us know someone who has lost a loved one? We must fight back.

As a Judge, I have seen firsthand the dangerous consequences of the Democrats soft-on-crime policies. Democratic leadership won’t put our safety first. I’m running for Congress to get back to commonsense policies that keep our families safe. I am ready to bring my heart for this district and my experience to Congress to make our district safe again. Eric Sorensen will never buck his party to put people first. I will never stop fighting for safe families, safe neighborhoods, and a secure border.

Eric Sorensen is not willing to put our safety and security first, but I always will be. Sorensen is out for himself and his own agenda, but I promise you this: My only agenda is serving the people of the 17th District of Illinois. My only platform is your best interest. I am in this race to fight for every single person in this community and to make your life better than it is today.


October 11, 2023

Judge Joe McGraw Launches Campaign to Represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional District

Rockford, IL – Today, local leader and Illinois native Judge Joe McGraw launched his bid to oust incumbent Eric Sorensen in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District.

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"I’ve dedicated my life to law and order and serving the people of Illinois. I can no longer sit by and watch our country and our state go in the wrong direction. There’s something wrong when big-city liberals would rather demonize honest cops than crack down on criminals, when politicians in Washington care more about illegal immigrants than the safety and security of our own citizens, and when the exporting of good manufacturing jobs, combined with record inflation, crushes families’ economic viability. Eric Sorensen is part of the problem; he votes with Biden’s failed agenda nearly 100% of the time. In Congress, I’ll fight for our hardworking families and stand up to the out-of-touch Biden agenda," said Judge Joe McGraw.

Judge Joe Pic 1

Judge Joe Pic 1

Judge Joe McGraw enters the race with support from leaders from across the district. His day-one endorsements include:

  • United States Representative Don Manzullo (Ret.)
  • House Republican Leader Tony McCombie
  • Rep. John Cabello
  • Rep. Norine Hammond
  • Rep. Bill Hauter
  • Rep. Joe Sosnowski
  • Rep. Ryan Spain
  • Rep. Travis Weaver
  • Sen. Neil Anderson
  • Sen. Andrew Chesney
  • Sen. Win Stoller
  • Sen. Dave Syverson
  • Rep. Dan Brady (Ret.)
  • Sen. Brian Stewart (Ret.)
  • Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana
  • Stephenson County Sheriff Steve Stovall
  • Winnebago County State's Attorney J. Hanley
  • Winnebago County Board Chairman Joe Chiarelli
  • Winnebago County Coroner Jennifer Muraski
  • City of Rockford Alderman Kevin Frost
  • City of Rockford Alderman Frank Beach
  • City of Rockford Alderman Chad Tuneberg
  • City of Rockford Alderman Tim Durkee
  • City of Rockford Deputy Police Chief Mike Booker (Ret.)
  • City of Loves Park Alderman Dan Jacobson
  • City of Loves Park Alderman James Thompson
  • City of Loves Park Alderman Robert Schlensker
  • City of Loves Park Alderman Doug Allton
  • City of Loves Park Alderman John Jacobson
  • City of Loves Park Alderman Michael Owens
  • City of Loves Park City Clerk Robert Burden
  • City of Loves Park Treasurer John Danielson
  • Harlem Township Supervisor Gary Jury
  • Harlem Township Trustee Paul Hofmann
  • Harlem Township Trustee Ronald Esser
  • Harlem Township Trustee Aaron McKnight
  • Harlem Township Trustee Josh Gesner
  • Harlem Township Highway Commissioner Ed Tegland
  • Stephenson County Sheriff Dave Snyders (Ret.)
  • City of Savanna Mayor Val Gunnarsson
  • Illinois State Police Captain Carl Heintz (Ret.)


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Judge Joe McGraw for Congress
PO Box 1451 Rockford, IL 61105