Following the Republicans winning the majority in the House in the midterm elections, the direction of the House’s congressional oversight of the border has shifted with many GOP lawmakers drawing connections between the fentanyl crisis and the immigration crisis.
The war on drugs has been raging for decades, however, fentanyl has become the main drug discussed in recent months because of its high lethality, which is uncommon among other recreational drugs. The GOP has particularly been focusing on fentanyl and pushing the opinion that the drug crisis which has led to an overdose epidemic is deeply connected with the immigration crisis and the lack of security at the border.
During the GOP hearings, the drug has played a significant role and House Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) even alleged that “backpacks full of fentanyl [are] pouring into our country” while border officials are struggling to contain the migrants entering the country.
However, the statistics surrounding fentanyl do not entirely fall in line with this perspective. According to the statistics around 90 percent of fentanyl captured is taken while the drug is being brought in through the crossing checkpoints.
Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), pointed out that the way that the Republicans were speaking about the fentanyl crisis you would believe that the drugs were being brought in by vulnerable migrants when that is not the case. She has also pointed out that the part that no one is addressing is the high demand for these drugs, and instead they are only focusing on the supply. She added that she wished other lawmakers would also focus on the importance of dealing with addiction instead of just spending all their attention on how they are supplied.