At a White House briefing, President Donald Trump spoke to key officials in charge of drug policy enforcement and border security, and members of the press. The Mar. 13 briefing addressed drug trafficking on the southern border.
President Trump talked about tens of thousands of innocent Americans being killed by vast amounts of deadly, poisonous drugs that are smuggled across the nation’s southern border.
He said the nation’s borders are porous, and that they are a lot less porous where security enforcement operates, “but they’re coming in bigger numbers, and part of that is because our country is doing so well economically. We have a very, very strong country economically. And people come up, to a large extent, for that reason.”
The president said he guesses the money that Americans are spending on drugs may be the reason. He repeated that the country is very, very strong economically, and that is the reason people cross illegally, to a large extent.
The Trump administration understands that illegal immigration provides lucrative cash flow to some of the most dangerous cartels around.
Consequently, within its rightful jurisdiction, Trump’s implementation of a strong border wall is part of a plan to suppress America’s drug addiction epidemic at one of the most notorious ports of entry for drugs—the southern border.
Drug-related Deaths an Epidemic
Mike McDaniel, Director of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program (HIDTA), spoke at the briefing. He talked about the 72,000 people who died in 2017 of drug overdoses. He believes the general public doesn’t realize the magnitude of how many people that is. A rodeo event full of people at a large stadium is what he compared the number of deaths to.
He called it an epidemic needing innovative strategies to address the country’s drug addiction issues.
The HIDTA program is now in all 50 states, with 33 of the programs being in critical regions, including five along the southwest border.
Involved in drug law enforcement for 36 years, McDaniel warned that the most dangerous drugs containing fentanyl are entering the country through backpackers, transporting them directly into American communities. There is an alarming trend of cartels strapping fentanyl drugs onto minors and sending them across the border, telling them it’s methamphetamines or coke, which are somewhat less deadly than fentanyl. The cartels “have no regard for life.”
He ended his talk on a solemn note. “What keeps me up at night is not the vast amount of drugs being seized but the vast amount of drugs coming into our country not being seized. Our hearts grieve for the loss of so many lives and for the family members that have lost so many of their sons and daughters.”
Weak Border is Hurting the People
The president has given many moral reasons as well as economic ones on why a wall is necessary. Illegal drugs are causing devastating effects to Americans, not just in deaths, but also lost well-being and quality of life.
Vocal supporters of the wall have also given moral reasons for strong border security, such as J. Wesley Smith, retired Chaplain Colonel, now Senior Military Analyst at the American Center for Law and Justice.
Smith says border walls would allow more efficient and quicker processing for those seeking asylum and those seeking jobs in the U.S. He says Democrats and Republicans alike rightly bemoan the plight of those seeking freedom and safety in America. Having a strong border would expedite the process for immigrants.
Most noteworthy is the fact that more wall means more locations for ports of entry, allowing more people to be processed.
He also brings up the criminal and moral issue of illegal drugs coming into the country across the border. Millions of people are suffering from drug addiction. The cartels can easily pass drugs into the U.S. Many smugglers simply walk or drive across where there is no barrier.
The U.S.-Mexico border stretches for 1,954 miles. Currently, physical barriers cover 654 of those miles, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. President Trump’s proposed budget for 2020 is seeking $4.7 trillion total, with $8.6 billion set aside for wall funding.