U.S. Customs and Border Protection confiscated more fentanyl in the first half of 2021 than in the last three years.
CBP seized 6,494 pounds of the drug between October 2020 and April 2021, according to recently released data. Nearly 2,000 more pounds of fentanyl have been seized by CBP officials compared to last year amid the southern border surge. CBP seized 4,776 pounds in 2020 and 2,801 pounds in 2019.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters Friday that the Texas Department of Public Safety has seen an 800 percent increase from April 2020 to April 2021 of the amount of fentanyl that has been apprehended.
“We have obtained enough fentanyl coming across the border to kill every single person in the state of New York,” Abbott said.
Fentanyl is a fatal drug that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Around 87,000 Americans died in 2020 from a drug overdose — the record in one year. Lora Ries, Senior Research Fellow in Homeland Security at The Heritage Foundation, told The Federalist that this is clearly a crisis and one that the White House caused.
“It is of the Biden Administration’s own making and messaging. Instead of working to prevent illegal immigration, the current administration works to process illegal immigrants into the U.S. faster and claim they are getting a handle on it, all without any regard for the cost to U.S. taxpayers,” Ries said. “Americans do not agree with the Biden Administration’s handling of the border. He should listen to them and reinstitute order, not raise our taxes to pay for this dereliction of duty.”
CBP has noted an increase in fentanyl smuggling since 2018. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., received a memo briefing Tuesday after putting in a request for further information on alleged terrorists arrested at the border. The memo was classified, but McCarthy told Fox News the “border crisis has spiraled into a national security crisis.”
“Although the briefing I received today was classified, I can tell you that I’m even more concerned for America’s security than I was before,” McCarthy said. “…More than 1,500 individuals evade law enforcement at the border every day, it must be immediately addressed.”
Last week, CBP announced it encountered over 178,000 migrants in the month of April. This is a 900 percent increase in comparison to a year prior. 172,000 migrants were encountered in March and 178,622 migrants in the same category this April. The 172,000 marked the most substantial number in the last 20 years.
As Ries alludes to, the Biden administration has been blamed for much of the influx. Biden’s repeal of Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy has resulted in migrants being released into the United States. Recent data from Syracuse University indicates that approximately 8,387 migrants previously enrolled in the Trump-era program were allowed to walk free in the U.S. in April.
Back in September 2020, acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said Mexican cartels are bringing more “hard drugs” across the southern border. One kilogram of fentanyl — the equivalent of about 2.2 pounds — has the potential to kill 500,000 people, as cited by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
The DEA announced a program titled “Project Wave Breaker” last month to target Mexican crime groups that smuggle fentanyl into America.
“While a major entry point for fentanyl is the Southwest border, the cartels are spreading their poison into communities across the Nation,” said DEA Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans. “Through this initiative, we’re tackling a very real public health, public safety, and national security threat, identifying the most egregious street-level networks in our communities and working our way up through the supply chain.”
A recent poll shows that voters are discontent with the Biden administration’s handling of the southern border. The Associated Press-NORC at the University of Chicago poll found that only 43 percent of voters approve of Biden’s actions on immigration and the border. A Harvard-Harris poll conducted between April 27 and 29 indicates that 80 percent of voters determine that there is a surge.
Twenty governors urged Biden to take action on the border crisis last week, saying it is “unacceptable” for migrants to be housed throughout the country.
“We call on you to take action on the crisis at the southern border immediately,” the letter states. “Contrary to statements from your Administration, the border is neither closed nor secure. In fact, the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reports a staggering surge in recent crossings: 172,000 encounters in March, the highest number in nearly 20 years, as well as 18,890 unaccompanied children, the largest monthly number in history.”