Deadly doses of fentanyl continue to flow across the border from Mexico, according to new data from Customs and Border Protection.
Prior to President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the number of illegal immigrants entering the country via the southern border was just over 400,000 annually. Now, CBP reports that in the month of July, there were 199,976 encounters with illegal border crossers on the southern border.
This is a 4 percent decrease from June when CBP recorded 207,416 encounters—the highest ever recorded in June since they began keeping track in 2000.
However, there was a 1 percent increase in the number of unique encounters by CBP.
Additionally, “of those [199,976 encounters], 22 percent involved individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months, compared to an average one-year re-encounter rate at the southwest land border of 15 percent for FY2014-2019,” according to CBP.
Nevertheless, the criminal cartel smuggling operations include more than human smuggling, as CBP also reported an increase in drug seizures for fentanyl (203 percent), methamphetamine (15 percent), and heroin (8 percent).
Notably, fentanyl overdoses have become the leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18-45. In July, more than 20,000 pounds of fentanyl were confiscated by CBP on the southern border, which is enough to kill every Texan roughly 150 times over.
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said last month that it’s a “daily battle” at the border and cartels are “exploiting open borders for profit and political power in Mexico.”
Roy then called for cartels to be designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
According to Roy’s office, “FTO designations provide for additional ‘tools’ for law enforcement and national security authorities to take action, including by providing additional investigative and intelligence resources and sanction capabilities.”
They said that FTO designations would:
- Make it unlawful for any person who knowingly provides “material support or resources” to the cartel to enter the United States.
- Prevent any member of a designated cartel from legally entering the United States.
- Allow the Secretary of the Treasury to block all assets possessed or controlled by the cartels.
“To anyone remotely familiar with the brutal tactics and extensive operations that cartels use on both sides of our southern border every single day, there is absolutely no question that they should be described, designated, and treated as terrorists,” said Roy. “These are people who hang, behead, and burn people alive to threaten and control government officials and Mexico, and they are starting to bring those dangerous tactics here to the United States.”
“These criminal organizations endanger American citizens, our Mexican neighbors, and the immigrants who seek to come here. They treat human beings like cattle, trafficking them—as well as deadly narcotics—across our border and through our communities every single day for profit,” said Roy.
Roy blames the Biden administration’s open border policies for the ongoing crisis and increasingly dangerous cartel activity.
“To make matters worse, they’re growing even more powerful, wealthy, and brazen as a result of this administration’s self-inflicted border crisis. We need to get serious, treat cartels like the terrorists they are, and give law enforcement even more tools to bring them down.”