Border crisis: 233% increase in fentanyl seizures at southern border
Fentanyl smuggling has spiked amid the border crisis
New data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revealed that the total weight of fentanyl seized at the southwestern border in the first quarter has seen a 233% increase from this same time last year.
CBP published the updated drug seizure data from March 2021 to its website on Wednesday, which illustrated that 639 pounds of fentanyl — a deadly synthetic opioid — was seized that month along the southwestern border. This number is up from 245 pounds seized at the southwestern border in March of 2020.
So far in 2021, CBP has picked up 2,098 pounds of smuggled fentanyl compared to the 629 pounds apprehended between January and March of 2020. This represents a 233% increase in smuggled fentanyl recovered by CBP since this same time last year.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blasted President Biden for his administration’s "gross mismanagement" of the border crisis in an exclusive statement to Fox News, torching the administration for ignoring the border crisis "they created" and that inaction would have "dire" consequences in the future.
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"The collateral damage from Biden’s border crisis extends beyond the inhumane and crowded conditions at migrant facilities," McCarthy told Fox News. "The gross mismanagement of the crisis has also put Americans’ safety in danger, as we witnessed recently by the two suspected terrorists who were recently apprehended, and it poses health risks to our own citizens. Just in the first quarter of 2021, the amount of fentanyl seized at the border increased by an alarming rate of 233% from the same time period last year.
"Fentanyl is considered to be 50-100 times more potent than morphine and kills tens of thousands of Americans each year. And if the chemical is altered, it can be significantly more lethal," McCarthy continued. "Nearly all states are seeing a spike in opioid deaths, and it should compel every government official to take action to prevent these avoidable deaths."
"The Biden administration cannot continue to ignore the crisis they created – if they fail to take action now, it will leave us with a far more dire situation in the future," the top Republican in the House added.
According to the data, the spike of fentanyl picked up by CBP agents at the southern border began back in June 2020. Some CBP agents at that time were brought to Washington, D.C., amid the civil unrest around George Floyd's death in 2020.
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That trend plateaued shortly after the spike and has continued on a slight downward trajectory into 2021 as the Biden administration tries to handle the massive surge of migrants attempting to enter the country illegally at the southern border.
Vice President Kamala Harris announced she would be heading to Mexico and Guatemala as part of her new role to deal with the "root causes" of the migrant surge from Central and South America.
Harris has faced criticism for her alleged inaction in dealing with the crisis at the southern border.