The current fentanyl crisis in America is directly tied to the Biden administration’s unwillingness to secure our southern border.
Over the past three years, over 8.8 million illegal migrants have crossed the southern border. That is more than twice the population of Oklahoma. This number includes over two million known “gotaways” who evaded border patrol, smuggling drugs and trafficked persons into our country. The Biden administration’s open border has created a national security, public health, and humanitarian crisis.
Joe Biden’s incompetence has proven deadly. On Joe Biden’s watch, over 56,380 pounds of fentanyl have been trafficked into our country. Now, illicit fentanyl poisoning has become the leading cause of death among American adults ages 18-45.
Fentanyl is a controlled substance. However, illicit fentanyl production is the primary driver of record-breaking overdose numbers. Fentanyl abuse has become more common and dangerous in recent years due to “fentanyl analogs” and “fentanyl-related substances,” which are similar in chemical makeup but far more powerful. In fact, of the pills tested for fentanyl, an alarming 42 percent contain at least two milligrams of fentanyl – a lethal dose that could fit on the tip of a pencil.
Fentanyl and its analogues are easier to produce and quicker to make than other drugs. They are also twenty times more profitable. For these reasons, criminal drug cartels are flooding our border with counterfeit pills and cashing in on our national security crisis at the American people’s expense.
Unfortunately, the fentanyl crisis is disproportionately harming Oklahomans.
Oklahoma has seen fentanyl deaths double for five years in a row, and as of November of last year, it ranked fourth in the U.S. for an increase in fentanyl overdose deaths in the last 12 months. In 2019, there were 47 fentanyl overdose deaths in our state, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. In 2022, the number of deaths from fentanyl poisoning skyrocketed to 300. According to the CDC, unintentional overdose deaths in the State of Oklahoma reached almost 700 between April 2022 and April 2023.
Despite these difficult statistics, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claims the amount of fentanyl coming across the southern border is “at historic lows” thanks to Joe Biden’s immigration policies. Oklahomans should be outraged by the Biden administration’s effort to put their political agenda over the safety and security of the American people.
The solution is straightforward: the single most effective step we can take today to combat the fentanyl epidemic is to secure our border. Senate Republicans stand united in our efforts to enforce our immigration laws, reinstate the “remain-in-Mexico” policy, end Obama-era catch and release, build the wall, crack down on Mexican cartels, and tighten asylum claims, among other protections. The deadly fentanyl epidemic has found its way into our Oklahoma communities, and it is past time the Biden administration takes a hands-on approach to prioritize U.S. national security and save lives.