Thomas Gallatin / September 16, 2021

Biden’s Border Crisis Fuels Drug Cartels

August saw the number of illegals caught hit a 21-year high, and the illicit drugs seized doubled last year’s figure.

No matter how the Biden administration attempts to spin its narrative on the border crisis, the stubborn nature of reality refuses to comport. The data on the ground keeps undercutting Joe Biden’s pie-in-the-sky claims that the border situation is under control and the illegal immigration surge is being handled. Neither claim is even remotely honest, and even Biden’s own Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has privately admitted it: “If our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable. We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue, and our system isn’t built for it.”

The number of illegals caught crossing the border is enormous. August saw 208,887 migrants apprehended, after July saw 213,534. That brings the total number of illegal crossers caught since Biden took office to nearly 1.3 million, higher than any year since 2001.

The Biden administration likes to deflect blame onto Donald Trump by noting that the surge began during the last couple months of Trump’s presidency — after, notably, would-be migrants knew a new sheriff would soon be in town. However, a fairer measurement is the tally from fiscal year 2020, following Trump’s successful implementation of his Remain in Mexico policy. The surging numbers seen in 2019 were the result of anti-border, illegal immigration advocacy groups that worked to form caravans of tens of thousands of migrants from Central America that flooded the U.S. southern border. Trump acted to slow that down.

The total number of illegals caught crossing the border in FY2020 was 458,088, down from FY2019’s total of 977,509. In other words, Trump’s effort to secure and control the border was paying off. Of course, Biden’s quick reversal of Trump’s policies produced today’s ballooning numbers and the escalating border crisis.

But it’s not just the ballooning number of illegals; it’s also the spiking amount of illicit drugs smuggled in with them. In August alone, 1,104 pounds of fentanyl was seized, along with 19,671 pounds of methamphetamine, setting a new monthly high thus far in Biden’s presidency. The quantity of illicit drugs seized this year has nearly doubled last year’s total.

This only adds to the other ongoing epidemic responsible for killing tens of thousands of Americans annually — the opioid epidemic. Last year alone, 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, which was a 29% increase over the year prior, the biggest one-year increase since 2016. The increasing flood of illicit drugs now flowing over the border since Biden took office is bound to have a rippling effect on the number of overdose deaths — not to mention Mexican cartel wallets.

In a recently raised lawsuit by West Virginia against Biden’s DHS and Mayorkas, the state contends that the “devastating deadly flood of fentanyl across the Southwest border” is due to border mismanagement. “By its consequences burdening and distracting the Border Patrol,” West Virginia argues, “the termination of the MPP [Migrant Protection Protocols] decreases the security of the border against fentanyl trafficking between ports of entry, leading directly to both increased numbers of smuggling attempts and increased rates of success in evading Border Patrol.”

In a tacit admission that things aren’t going well at the border, Mayorkas’s chief of staff, Karen Olick, recently tendered her resignation after only a few months on the job. The political appointee and former chief of staff to former California Senator Barbara Boxer had no experience in DHS prior to her appointment and it showed. However, it’s Mayorkas’s head that should be rolling given his feckless leadership and repeated public dismissals of there being a crisis at the border, passing it off as a “seasonal” surge. Never mind that the surge is happening in the wrong season…

We’ll leave it to Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, a Democrat state senator from Texas, to sum it up: “I always say that when a nation does not control its border, when a nation cannot define its border, it ceases to be a nation. Right now, we do not control our border.”

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