Prescription painkiller deaths are responsible for only a small portion of drug deaths and almost none of the epidemic-level increase since 2014. Yet Congress was willing to regulate the heck out of prescriptions in order to address the epidemic. But when it comes to illicit drugs, which are doing most of the drug killing and are almost all coming in from the Mexican drug cartels and their criminal alien syndicates, suddenly the political class has no interest in solutions unless you can prove that it will stop 100 percent of the problem.
Last year, Congress held endless hearings, wrote copious reports, and passed dozens of bills misdiagnosing the poly-drug crisis, its nature, and its source. They spent billions of dollars funding unproven addiction treatment programs while regulating prescription painkillers. Then they passed a bill with endless leniencies for drug traffickers. To the extent they ever spoke about illicit drugs, they focused on China and the dark web, but would never mention the word Mexico or the southern border, where almost all of the drugs are brought into the country. They were willing to do everything that, in their mind, would mitigate the emergency epidemic, even when they went after the wrong source. Now that we’ve successfully exposed the authentic source of the crisis – the Mexican border and lack of interior enforcement against cartel distributors in America – Congress is suddenly not interested in doing anything unless it’s a bulletproof end-all solution.
Now that the media finally has been forced to admit that the source of the drug problem is the Mexican cartels, the same evil terrorist groups orchestrating the flow of illegal immigration, leftists have a new talking point. They contend that almost all of the drugs come through the points of entry and not in between the points, thereby making a wall completely irrelevant to mitigating the drug trafficking problem. This talking point is part of a general trend where they magnify the problem beyond the solution of the wall. For example, after calling us kooks for years when we warned that the most brutal cartels were digging tunnels into our territory, the media is now admitting this is indeed taking place in order to, in their minds, diminish the efficacy of the wall as a solution.
But this in itself is a self-indictment of their refusal to deal with the problem through the years. Really? So, this is even worse than what a wall can solve? All the more so this should be treated as a national emergency, then. We should be sending our military over the Rio Grande to fight these terror groups.
This new alarmist argument that a wall is ineffective to combat the cartels is ludicrous for a number of reasons.
1. The wall as a force multiplier to effectively channel resources: Before I explain how drugs are pouring through between points of entry, it’s important to understand that having substantial barriers rather than an open frontier in many areas allows our agents to place their resources more in points of entry to interdict the drugs. The same thing applies to their argument about tunnels. It’s sure a lot easier to detect the tunnels and drones, as well as the criminal activity at the points of entry, when the agents are not completely shut down by thousands of bogus asylum seekers every day coming in between the points of entry. With that chaos successfully blocked by the wall, the agents can focus all their attention on the criminal activities of the cartels rather than serving as babysitters and field hospitals between the points of entry.
2. Drugs absolutely pour in between the points of entry: The reason the media is asserting that most drugs come in at the points of entry is not because they know it to be true, but because most of the drug seizures occur at the points of entry. But that outcome is dictated by pure common sense. While the cartels do succeed in getting drugs in at the points of entry, it’s obvious that we have the most success in detecting drugs in this carefully controlled environment. While in the hundreds of miles of open frontier, the cartels get the drugs in un-interdicted at all, we catch a lot of their contraband at the checkpoints. On the other hand, we likely only catch an infinitesimal amount of drugs in between the points of entry.
The most important fact about the border the media is obfuscating is that the cartels control the entire flow of migrants precisely so they can strategically tie down our agents with a humanitarian crisis while they confidently bring in drugs, gangs, criminals, cartel enforcers, and special interest aliens with the full confidence that no agents will be present in the gaps they tactically created. As Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Council, explained to me last year, “The cartels flood the metropolitan areas with more family units than we have resources to deal with, causing us to move resources from rural areas, thereby creating the gaps that allow them to move more valuable products like illicit narcotics and criminal aliens. It’s sort of like a game of football.”
Why do you think the volume and widespread availability of lethal illicit drugs spiked to epidemic levels suddenly in 2013-2015 with the rise of the Central American teens and again with the flow of the family units? They all came in between the points of entry, not at the points of entry. Many of the UACs served as drug runners.
Jaeson Jones, who commanded a group of Texas Rangers dealing with this precise problem at the time, told me it’s laughable to suggest the cartels aren’t bringing in drugs between the points of entry. “Most unaccompanied alien children enter our country between the points of entry,” said the retired captain, who spent 24 years with the Texas Department of Public Safety focusing on counterterrorism and counter-narcotics at our border. “Every day, these teens and young adults are forced into human trafficking, human smuggling, and drug trafficking in order to pay their way to be smuggled into the United States by the cartels.”
The cartels knew that we never prosecute teens on drug charges at the federal level and therefore deliberately used them to bring in drugs. As Jeff Sessions said last June, “These drug cartels know our laws and take advantage of our generosity. They are only too happy to use children to smuggle their drugs as well.” Those kids who help smuggle humans and drugs because of our lenient laws are referred to as polleritos.
Many of them also went on to fuel the gang crisis as well. Gangs are now the distributors of these drugs. So, the invasion of UACs – yes, between the points of entry – thanks to a lack of a standing deterrent is really two for the price of one in fueling the drug crisis.
Moreover, Jones told me his officers have been dealing with a long-standing problem of the cartels recruiting dual U.S.-Mexican citizens in middle and high schools on our side of the border to smuggle drugs across the border. “For the last decade across the southwest border, America’s youth have become the ideal smuggler for the Mexican cartels. The cartels have learned that U.S. prosecutors in most cases will either not prosecute or will be very lenient involving juvenile smuggling offenses. We must protect our youth from the Mexican cartels.”
Again, this was occurring between the points of entry just as much as at the points of entry, and it is a crisis that will be mitigated by the construction of a wall, among other assists needed at the border.
In July 2018, the DEA started a new program in San Diego to combat the cartels recruiting in schools on our side of the border to smuggle drugs in both in cars and on foot. It’s no wonder a local San Diego station accused CNN of losing interest in interviewing their reporters after they expressed their educated view that barriers at the border work.
3. Interior enforcement is even more important to stopping drugs, but Dems oppose that even more strongly. Democrats are not wrong when they assert that not all problems will be addressed by the wall. The problem is that is a further indictment of their visceral opposition to interior enforcement and deportations. Sure, the cartels will always be able to find ways to get some drugs into our country. But merely getting drugs past the border is not their goal. Their ultimate goal is establishing profitable networks that can operate in our major cities undetected in perpetuity. That is absolutely impossible without sanctuary cities.
As I’ve noted in my series on sanctuary cities and the drug crisis, the drug crisis reached epidemic levels during Obama’s second term, right as he began dismantling interior enforcement and sanctuary politics took over in major metro areas. All of the organizational trafficking is from foreign nationals. It’s bad enough that American drug traffickers barely serve any jail time any more and are back on the streets in no time. But criminal aliens, who, again, control all the primary-level trafficking, can and should be deported. We don’t need to land convictions; we just need to bust up their networks and get them out of here.
This also ties in to the new Democrat talking point about half of illegal immigration stemming from visa overstays. They are exactly right! So many of the Dominicans fueling the drug crisis in New England fly into Logan Airport with false Puerto Rican identities. If we actually got tough on interior enforcement, it would solve both the illegal immigration and the drug problem.
Yes, we need both border and interior enforcement. Yet, Democrats, because their border denialism has been discredited, must resort to a cat-and-mouse game of “No, this is not the problem, the other issue not directly before us now is the real problem … except we oppose action on that too.”
Finally, you know what is even more effective than both border walls and deportations? Actually making illegal immigration illegal and not incentivizing it with all sorts of magnets and benefits. This is really a very easy issue to solve. In life, there are can’ts and there are won’ts. When it comes to protecting our sovereignty and security from external threats, there are no can’ts. It’s all won’ts.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.