During a press briefing Thursday, Republican Texas governor Greg Abbott stated that the Biden administration’s relaxed immigration policies are contributing to the influx of fentanyl pouring across the border into the United States.
“It is clear that Biden’s open-border policies are unleashing deadly consequences right here in the Dallas–Fort Worth area,” Abbott commented.
Abbott called the smuggling of fentanyl, a deadly narcotic, into the country a “crisis.” He announced that the state is deploying 1,000 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and National Guard members to combat the drug trafficking.
He blamed the Biden administration for diverting law-enforcement resources toward accommodating migrants at the expense of border security. Abbott asserted that fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic opioid that is sometimes incorporated into other drugs, is infiltrating Texas’s interior.
The governor cited statistics exposing the massive uptick in drug apprehension under the Biden administration. He said that while in 2020 the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) seized 11 pounds of the fentanyl, about 2.4 million lethal doses, this year DPS seized 95 pounds of fentanyl, or about 21 million lethal doses, to date. Abbott confirmed that this represents an increase of nearly 800 percent year over year.
Abbott blamed Biden’s reversal of his predecessor’s border-security measures for the drug trafficking spike. The president’s recently announced budget plan valued at $6 trillion allocated no new funding for the border wall. The proposal slashes Customs and Border Protection (CBP) funding for “Border Security Assets and Infrastructure” from $1.5 billion to $54 million.
On the other hand, Biden’s fiscal package includes financing, $4.3 billion worth, for refugee services to help resettle 110,000 more migrants than was the case under Trump, as well as $861 million to increase security and economic support for Central American nations. It also diverts $891 million to hire more immigration judges and support staff to process court backlogs.
In response to the fentanyl surge in Texas, Abbott announced he will sign a law soon to codify the manufacturing or delivery of fentanyl as a criminal offense, with penalty for breaking the law beginning as a third-degree felony.
“Biden’s deadly border policies are being felt in communities throughout TX & the country. DPS & @TexasGuard are working to get these drugs off the streets,” Abbott tweeted Thursday.
Border crossings have skyrocketed in 2021, continuing the upward trend that started in 2020 and coincided with the first months of the Biden administration. In March, Abbott declared a crisis on the border and launched Operation Lone Star, a mission to send more resources from the Department of Public Safety and the National Guard to the border.