EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A GOP delegation visiting the Arizona-Mexico border on Thursday blamed the Biden administration for not doing enough to prevent fentanyl smuggling that claims thousands of Americans every year.
“You cannot tell us the border is secure when now there is enough fentanyl in this country to kill every single American more than 20 times over,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said in Tucson. “This has all got to change.”
In his first visit to the border since being elected speaker, McCarthy led a group of four freshman House members whose districts are seeing record fentanyl seizures.
U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wisconsin, talked about recent fentanyl seizures in La Crosse and Appleton that could’ve led to thousands of overdoses.
He also expressed his concern over record illegal immigration in the past two years.
“There have been 4.6 million apprehensions at the border since Joe Biden took office. There have been 1.2 million got-aways. Add that up and that’s 5.8 million people; that’s the entire population of Wisconsin,” Van Orden said. “That is unsustainable and absolutely unacceptable. […] So I’m calling on (Homeland Security) Secretary Mayorkas, do your damn job. Enough is enough.”
The White House a day earlier dismissed the GOP delegation’s trip to the border as a publicity stunt. A White House spokesman told The Hill that Biden’s border solutions are working.
But Arizona rancher John Ladd said he would not be in business anymore if not for the work of the U.S. Border Patrol and the assistance of local law enforcement.
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said his deputies have arrested more than 1,500 people for crimes associated with the activities of Mexican drug cartels, such as drug and migrant smuggling.
“They (the cartels) are one of the biggest employers down here. We’ve arrested 1,500-plus people in our county. U.S. citizens have come to our county and committed crimes, and sadly, over 100 were juveniles,” he told Fox News.
McCarthy picked up on that and said he heard from other locals on Thursday who are afraid of cartel activities and high-speed chases involving cartel contractors on the U.S. side of the border.
“I listened […] to the fear you have in a county where the Mexican cartel is the biggest employer. You don’t feel safe in your own nation,” the speaker said. “The Mexican government doesn’t’ know which citizens are leaving its country, the U.S. doesn’t know who’s coming into the country. But the Sinaloa cartel knows exactly who’s coming across and they also know what they’re carrying in their backpacks that’s killing Americans”
McCarthy promised to bring House committees that will hold hearings on the border and listen to testimony from locals, Republicans and Democrats alike, forced to endure record migration and drug trafficking.
“We are not just going to write the bill and put it on the floor. We are going to listen to the people,” he said.
McCarthy questioned why Biden hasn’t called Chinese President Xi Jinping to stem the flow of chemicals to Mexico that are allowing the cartels to produce and export fentanyl.
“This has got to stop and it starts with the secretary of Homeland Security. Stop lying to the American public. Tell them the truth of what’s happening and change back to the regulations we had before so our border can be secure,” the speaker said.