(UnitedVoice.com) – An estimated 79,117 Americans died from drug overdoses in the first nine months of 2022, according to Commonwealthfund.org. More than 106,000 people died in 2021 from overdoses. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is driving the crisis. Every economic group, race, and gender have been touched by the epidemic.
While the opioid crisis is ravaging communities, Republicans have slammed President Joe Biden’s administration for fueling the crisis by not securing the border. Now, the POTUS has taken steps to try to combat the problem.
In 2021, Biden declared a national emergency related to the illicit drug trafficking trade. The president and his administration contend it poses a risk to national security. He extended that declaration in December 2022.
On April 27, the president announced to Congress that he was using the National Emergencies Act to deploy the Armed Forces to the Southwest border in order to help with the ongoing trafficking crisis. The new order provides more authority to the secretaries of Homeland Security and the Defense Department to respond to the national emergency.
The president’s order gives Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin the authority to order “active duty units and individual members of the Ready Reserve” to the border.
@POTUS authorizes @SECDEF and Homeland Security SEC "to order to active duty such units and individual members of the Ready Reserve to ensure" DoD can "properly sustain its support" of Homeland Security "concerning international drug trafficking along the Southwest Border." pic.twitter.com/FZlBwfYWSO
— Howard Altman (@haltman) April 27, 2023
In March, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador claimed his country doesn’t have a fentanyl problem. NBC News reported he made the bold assertion that none of the drugs are being made in Mexico and claimed they “do not have a consumption of fentanyl.” He blamed the crisis in America on “social decay.” Just weeks later, he made a deal with the Biden administration to crack down on drug trafficking in his country while the US did the same in relation to weapons on their side of the border.
When Biden took office in January 2021, he undid almost all of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. That has allowed millions of migrants to pour across the border without proper documentation. Republicans have accused the POTUS of making the opioid epidemic, that America has been fighting for years, even worse.
The president had previously approved the deployments of 4,000 active duty military and National Guardsmen to the border. They were helping Customs and Border Protection agents find people who are crossing into the US illegally. They also helped the agents maintain equipment that agents might need to use.
The administration has not announced how many more troops, if any, will be sent to the border after the president’s most recent action.
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