Biden’s border neglect has caused a national security and drug crisis

Published 12:12 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2022

BY SEN. BILL HAGERTY
Well-financed, operationally sophisticated drug cartels, with the help of the Chinese Communist Party, are exploiting our immigration policies to make billions of dollars from drug and human trafficking. Ignored by the Biden administration, corporate media, and many Americans until it’s sadly too late due to the loss of a child, sibling, or neighbor, this increasingly powerful criminal business enterprise is expanding further into U.S. communities.
A trip through south Texas with eight Tennessee sheriffs and mayors revealed two key insights. First, under Biden’s policies, this national security crisis is unmanageable. Second, and paradoxically, this crisis is well within the federal government’s power to fix. My central takeaway was that if every American saw and heard what we did, it wouldn’t be happening — because our nation wouldn’t tolerate it.
Here’s the cartels’ business model: Fentanyl ingredients are shipped from China to Mexico, where the cartels turn them into astonishingly potent and, eventually, deadly drugs bound for the United States. The cartels control the entire Mexican side of the U.S. border, and each illegal immigrant must pay thousands of dollars for safe passage — often through subsequent indentured servitude. So, in this vicious cycle, the more illegal immigration, the more money for the cartels. And the more money for the cartels, the more drugs they produce.
U.S. Border Patrol has the capacity to process a maximum of roughly 5,000 illegal immigrants per day. Right now, they are facing nearly 8,000 per day. With Title 42 authority ending in May, they fear this number could exceed 15,000.
For cartels, the migrants are more than a revenue source. They are also a tool for transporting drugs and criminals. The cartels push scores of migrant customers across the border to bog down U.S. agents while they exploit the resulting gaps in patrol coverage to move across drugs, gang members, “high-value” individuals, terrorist watchlist members, and others. Indeed, nationals from 157 different countries have been apprehended crossing our border since President Joe Biden took office. Border Patrol agents told me that, given the record-breaking border crossings they’re currently facing, there are times when every agent is busy processing migrants, leaving the border wide open.
The drugs and criminals, and the accompanying violence, then flood into communities. As one agent put it, the people crossing the border don’t stay in that area, and neither do the drugs.
More than 100,000 Americans died last year from drug overdoses, most fueled by fentanyl. In my view, these are more akin to China-engineered poisonings than overdoses. The Tennessee sheriffs and mayors on the trip told me that deaths from illicit drug overdoses in their counties are at record highs.
The migrants come because of our current catch-and-release policies. To illustrate the current policy absurdity, near a stretch of unfinished border wall outside McAllen, Texas, our vehicle came across around 15 recently arrived migrants who asked where to find Border Patrol. They wanted to turn themselves in, having been coached by their cartel handlers that that is the first step for release into America. Our policies are so upside-down that the suspects are looking for the officers.
Unsurprisingly, Border Patrol repeatedly said: All we need are policy changes. Agents in Laredo, Texas, told me that when the Migrant Protection Protocols were implemented in 2019, requiring migrants seeking asylum to remain in Mexico until it was determined whether they were eligible (most are not), it was “like flipping a switch.” People stop coming when they know they won’t get in. This policy cut illegal immigration dramatically, yet the Biden administration nixed MPP without thinking, so record illegal immigration ensued.
With help from media allies, Democrats are ignoring this crisis and hoping everyone else does, too. They don’t want to answer for choosing appeasement of radical immigration groups over the nation’s security and sovereignty.
Why won’t we prevent our immigration system from being manipulated for a massive, transnational criminal alliance between the Chinese Communist Party and the billion-dollar Mexican cartels to poison America’s youth?
With Biden and the media averting their eyes and abdicating their responsibilities, it becomes even more crucial to spread the word before more lives are needlessly lost, more migrants’ lives are destroyed in the journey or in indentured servitude, and more communities are damaged.
(Sen. Bill Hagerty represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.)

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