Gavin Newsom Finally Cracking Down on Border Crime

( – The border crisis remains one of the top priorities for states along the southwest frontier. Arizona and Texas have both taken steps to address the issue, and California’s Democratic governor is finally taking action as well.

On June 13, Governor Gavin Newsom (R) announced he was doubling the number of California National Guard Counter Drug Taskforce across the state, including at ports of entry at the border. He increased the number of service members from 155 to 392. The National Guard members assigned to the drug task force are working to crack down on illegal narcotics, including fentanyl, from pouring into the country.

In May, the California National Guard announced it had seized more than 5 million pills containing fentanyl in 2024. In 2023, 62,224 pounds of fentanyl were seized along the border, an increase of 1,066%, according to the governor’s office. Newsom previously increased the number of National Guard members by approximately 50%.

The Department of Homeland Security has reported that the majority of fentanyl entering the US is being smuggled by American citizens through legal ports of entry. That makes the deployment of more resources to the ports more important than ever.

Newsom said his “top priority is the safety of [his] communities statewide.” He went on to say that he was working with federal, state, and local authorities to “take down transnational organizations and the illegal drugs they attempt” to smuggle into California.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that has fueled the overdose epidemic across the nation. Once the drugs enter the country, they are smuggled across all 50 states. A provisional report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics estimated there were 107,543 drug overdoses in the US in 2023. That made it the third year in a row to exceed 100,000 annual overdose deaths. According to the CDC, unintentional injuries, including overdoses, are the third leading cause of death in the US.

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