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Sen. Tuberville: Stopping fentanyl starts with securing the border

For more than two years, those of us who believe in the rule of law have been sounding the alarm about the disastrous impacts of President Biden’s open border. And for more than two years, these warnings have been ignored by the president and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

President Biden did a drive-by visit to the border earlier this year after saying he had “more
important things” to do, but he still has yet to witness the real impact of his failures or take any real action. The courts continue to keep the COVID-era border laws alive and strike down Biden’s attempts to worsen the crisis. This administration refuses to address the disaster at the border.

Unfortunately, the situation is only getting worse.

Hardworking American taxpayers are paying $182 billion annually for services and benefits to illegal immigrants, while simultaneously struggling to afford those same services for themselves. And that doesn’t include the $100 million in border materials that American taxpayers already paid for. The Biden administration is clearly not prioritizing Americans’ safety or financial security.

President Biden’s open borders have also flooded local communities across the country with more crime and deadly drugs — even in Alabama. In a 2023 Alabama Drug Threat Assessment conducted by the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, 47 different police departments ranked fentanyl as the No. 1 drug threat to their communities. And their fears are justified — data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows there has been a 271% increase in fentanyl-related deaths over the last two years in Alabama.

Late last year, officers in Mobile County seized enough fentanyl on Interstate-10 to kill 1.5 million people. More recently, officers from the Montgomery Police Department stopped 436 grams of fentanyl from entering the streets of Alabama’s capital city.

Sadly, fentanyl continues to slip through the cracks and wreak havoc on our local communities. Jefferson County alone has already reached 100 suspected overdose deaths
this year, after losing more than 300 residents to fentanyl in 2022.

Nationally, CDC data cites fentanyl overdose as the leading cause of death for adults age 18-45. President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas can tiptoe around it all they want, but the facts don’t lie. The loss of American lives to fentanyl is a direct result of the administration’s failure to secure the border. Americans are tired of feeling unsafe in their communities and losing loved ones to drug overdoses.

It is for these reasons that I recently introduced the Border Safety and Security Act to secure the southern border and stop the flow of fentanyl into our country by directly addressing incentives that fuel the border crisis.

My legislation would stop DHS from giving illegal immigrants a fast pass into our country, and instead require them to either be held in a U.S. detention facility or wait in Mexico for their asylum claims to be heard, as was done through Migrant Protection Protocols. This would end the catch-and-release policies of the Biden administration that have been a magnet for illegal immigrants who see our border as wide open.

In addition to putting more responsibility on DHS, this legislation also gives authority to state attorneys general in holding presidential administrations accountable for failure to secure America’s borders. Our local leaders are shouldering the burden of this crisis and deserve the ability to demand more accountability from their federal leaders.

We cannot continue leaving the door open for cartels and other foreign adversaries to ruin our communities. I intend to keep fighting for our national security by closing our southern border and hope the Biden administration will wake up and do the same.

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