A border wall is necessary to protect Mississippi communities from deadly drugs
The fight against drug trafficking in our country has been a continuous and devastating battle. Millions of American lives have been impacted, and we have seen the destructive power illegal drugs can unleash on a community. In an effort to better understand where these drugs are manufactured and how they enter our country, the Drug Enforcement Administration analyzes specific narcotics to identify their geographic sources. In 2017, 91 percent of heroin analyzed in the U.S. could be traced back to Mexico, 93 percent of the cocaine analyzed in the U.S. could be traced back to Columbia, and the amount of methamphetamine analyzed in the U.S. that was produced in Mexico could range as high as 97 percent. According to the 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment, the southwest border remains the primary entry point of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine coming into our county.
U.S. Rep. Michael Guest, R-Mississippi
In his State of the Union Address, President Trump called for increased border security to help limit the flow of drugs across our southwest border. As a member of the Border Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Homeland Security, I agree that we must commit to secure our southwest border, and part of that effort should include a physical barrier. Although most of the drugs seized by law enforcement takes place at points of entry, it is not known how much is being smuggled across the unsecured sections of our border or how many smugglers enter the country undetected. Fighting the flow of drugs into our country requires us to drive smugglers to secure points of entry where they will be met by border agents equipped with high-tech devices used to detect narcotics. Therefore, it is crucial that we seal unsecured points of entry so that we can concentrate our limited manpower to secured points of entry. We must increase the technology, equipment, and the manpower of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and border security agencies.
This issue is especially significant to me. As a former district attorney for Madison and Rankin counties, I prosecuted cases involving illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and opioids, that came into our communities. The newest illicit narcotic to hit our streets, fentanyl, is far deadlier than any drug we have seen before.
Fentanyl, like heroin, cocaine, meth, and most illicit drugs, is overwhelmingly manufactured overseas and smuggled into our country across our open borders. Fentanyl is mostly manufactured in China, where it is often shipped to Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) to be smuggled across our southwest border in bulk. These TCOs, or drug cartels, have been very successful in transporting fentanyl into communities across the country. Recently, border patrol agents seized over 115 kilograms (253.5 pounds) of fentanyl — enough to provide fatal doses to over 57 million Americans — being smuggled into the U.S. by a Mexican national through our southwest border, according to an article released by U.S. News. In another report, enough fentanyl was found in Mississippi last August to kill half a million people or about 14 percent of the population of our state.