The Congressional Representative for Northeast Missouri has firmly pitched his tent in the Donald Trump camp, endorsing the likely Republican nominee for President.

The Congressional Representative for Northeast Missouri has firmly pitched his tent in the Donald Trump camp, endorsing the likely Republican nominee for President.

Sam Graves, the longest-tenured Congressman in Missouri, made the announcement Wednesday, July 13. The announcement comes a week before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, when the billionaire businessman is expected to receive the party's nomination.

In his endorsement, Graves cited three areas in which he's found alignment with the businessman and reality television star.

He praised Trump's support of the American military and veterans, business prowess, as well as Trump's steadfast proposal to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico — and insisting the Mexican government will pay for it.

"There are a few issues that I’ve always considered fundamental to the future of this country. Without strength in our economy, our military, and our immigration system, we're at risk of losing everything we love about America,” Graves said.

“But these are areas where Donald Trump has been the strongest. And from his support of a wall along our southern border, to his unapologetic defense of our military and commitment to giving our veterans the care they deserve, it's been easy to find common ground with Donald," Graves continued.

Graves particularly harped on immigration. He supports a wall on the southern border and praised a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that invalidated President Barack Obama's 2014 executive order granting amnesty to 4 million illegal immigrants.

“This ruling is a win for the Constitution and the rule of law,” Graves said in a June 23 press release. “But it’s also a win for American workers and everyone who earned their citizenship in this country the right way. These are the people who are most affected by amnesty and illegal immigration, and I’m glad the President’s push to hand out citizenship to four million illegal immigrants was blocked by the Supreme Court.”

In addition to deporting illegal immigrants, Trump has proposed a ban on certain immigrants from entering the country.

"Most of all, he's shown that he understands what actually matters to this country,” Graves said of Trump. “That's why I am proud to endorse Donald Trump for President, and I look forward to helping him defeat Hilary Clinton this November.”

Graves is the second Missouri Congressman to endorse Trump. Billy Long, who represents the southwest part of the state, endorsed the business mogul on July 8. Three others — Republicans Ann Wagner, Jason Smith and Blaine Luetkemeyer — indicated they would support the Republican nominee.

Graves represents all of northern Missouri, including Marion, Ralls and Pike Counties.

Reach editor Eric Dundon at eric.dundon@courierpost.com .