• April 22nd, 2024
  • Monday, 10:39:23 AM

Congresswoman Caraveo Pushing to Stem the Flow of Fentanyl Across Our Southern Border


Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo, M.D. (CO-08).

 

Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo, M.D. (CO-08) is pushing for additional federal support to help stem the flow of deadly illicit fentanyl across our southern border with México. In a letter to bipartisan leaders on the House Appropriations Committee, Caraveo joined colleagues in requesting emergency supplemental funding to address this crisis.

 

“Families across the country have suffered incalculable losses at the hands of these extremely potent narcotics. As the elected representatives of these families and communities, it is our duty to do all we can to disrupt the distribution of illicit fentanyl,” wrote the Members.

 

“Each of these investments would lead to less illicit fentanyl in our communities and save American lives. As members of Congress, we cannot afford to play politics with the health and safety of those we represent. We urge you to reject the proposed cuts to DHS and fund these programs at the appropriate level so that fewer American families will be subjected to the pain caused by illicit fentanyl,” they continued.

 

Deaths related to the use of illicit fentanyl and other synthetic opioids have risen by nearly 200% in the past decade and affected nearly every community in America.

 

Most illicit fentanyl is trafficked by transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) based in México at ports of entry along our southern border. Therefore, the Members believe that it’s essential to make more critical investments in border security to limit the prevalence of illicit fentanyl in our communities.

 

Just last month, the House Majority passed a partisan budget proposal that forgoes these critical investments in favor of steep budgetary cuts. This Republican proposal would reduce Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforcement staffing by an estimated 2,400 agents and harm the department’s ability to prevent illicit fentanyl from entering the country.

 

As an alternative, Caraveo joined her colleagues in proposing targeted investments to give law enforcement the tools needed to prevent illicit fentanyl from ever reaching American communities.

 

In addition to the supplementary funding request, Caraveo and her colleagues proposed additional measures to address illicit fentanyl trafficking across the southern border. These actions include:

 

1)  Hiring an additional 500 CBP Officers at points of entry to increase the number of vehicles scanned at the border.

2)  Expanding the DHS’ Fentanyl Abatement and Response Team (FAST) to better coordinate with state, local, and federal partners on disrupting fentanyl distribution networks.

3)  Create additional Transnational Criminal Investigative Units (TCIUs) to improve U.S. and host country ability to investigate TCOs.

4)  Invest in equipment, training, and medication to protect frontline officers from TCO elements and accidental fentanyl exposure.

5)  Expedite acquisition and placement of non-intrusive inspection technology to reduce fentanyl smuggling at ports of entry.

 

This effort is a continuation of Congresswoman Caraveo’s approach to addressing the drug crisis head on. In March, she introduced her first bill that will help confront the latest wave of the drug crisis. That bill, the TRANQ Research Act, passed unanimously on the House floor last week and will now be considered in the Senate, where it has already been voted out of committee.

 

See the full version of the letter here.