Border Chief Mayorkas: We Are Doing What ‘Needs to Be Done’ to Stop the Drug Trade


“We are doing that which needs to be done” to counter cartel-delivered fentanyl and other drugs that killed more than 100,000 Americans in 2021, President Joe Biden’s homeland security chief told the Washington Post. The complacent statement by Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas came days after the federal government reported on January 1 that drug overdose deaths likely hit 107,477 deaths in the 12 months leading up to August 2022. That is up 3.3 percent from the 102,612 deaths reported in August 2021 for the 12 months prior. Mayorkas touted his policies in a January 4 interview, saying, “We have an across-the-board, full-press, doubling-down effort on this very dangerous [fentanyl] drug.” Yet Mayorkas also said he is short of border personnel to operate high-tech scanners that can detect drugs hidden in vehicles, even though he asked — and Congress agreed — to add at least $3 billion to his 2023 budget for moving migrants into Americans’ workplaces: We’re grateful for that [technology, and] we need additional personnel to man that equipment. So what we’re hoping for is additional funding for technology, for personnel, both here in the U.S. and to deploy internationally, to reach the problem at its source. That’s what really we’re hoping for and we’re continuing to press forward and really appreciate the support we’ve received thus far. The just-passed $82 billion DHS bill included only $120 million to eventually hire at least 300 new border agents, plus $70 million for more devices that can detect drugs in trucks and autos that cross the border.

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