Fentanyl seizures spiked by 200% from June to July, according to the latest figures from U.S. Customs Border Protection, highlighting the interlinked crises of skyrocketing American overdose deaths and record-high illegal border crossings from Mexico.
The humanitarian impact of the border crisis goes far beyond the migrants themselves.
Experts are warning that the flood of migrants overwhelming the southwestern border has allowed smugglers to bring across hundreds of tons of fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and other drugs, driving overdose fatalities to record highs across the country.
“The seizures are good… but that means that it’s coming in through every porous part of our open border down at the southern border,” retired ICE-HSI Special Agent Victor Avila, referencing a U.S. CBP report showing fentanyl seizures increased 203 percent in July, said Monday during a Fox News appearance.
- Total U.S. overdose deaths increased from 92,000 in 2020 to a record 108,000 in 2021, with deaths from opioids including fentanyl jumping from 70,000 to 81,000 over the same period.
- Overdose mortality appears set to hit an all-time high in 2022 if current trends continue.
- The Biden administration is doing “absolutely nothing” to address the crisis, Avila told Fox News.
Unlike previous migrant waves, the latest influx is coming from around the world, Border Patrol statistics have shown — and so are the drugs.
- The CBP reported the number of encounters with migrants from countries other than Mexico or other Central American nations has nearly doubled in 2022, compared to last year.
- In the first ten months of fiscal year 2022 alone, around 600,000 encounters have been with migrants from non-Central American nations, including Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, India and Russia, among others.
- The vast majority of fentanyl consumed by Americans is synthesized in Mexico from precursor chemicals imported from China and India.
Despite the Biden administration’s claims that the situation is under control, the number of border patrol encounters with illegal migrants in 2021 soared almost threefold, to over 1.7 million, and that number has already been surpassed in 2022.
- “Border patrol agents are too busy dealing with the influx of migrants, and are not really focused on looking for fentanyl,” Robert Almonte, former deputy chief of the El Paso Police Department, told the New York Post. “Border agents are not getting the support they need from the federal government to stop the flow of fentanyl, which is killing thousands of Americans.”
- Cartels send waves of migrants across to distract CBP agents, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot told the Daily Caller: “When you know you have a small contingent of Border Patrol agents that you can inundate quickly, by doing mass quantities [of migrants] at one time, that ties up border patrol’s resources so they cannot be out there.”
- “Failure to complete physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, combined with a lack of enforcement attention, has enabled sufficient flow of fentanyl into the United States to fill a demand shift created in part by the crackdown on mail-order and prescription drugs,” policy experts at the Common Sense Institute in Arizona said in an analysis published last month.