Tuberville Sounds Alarm on Deadly Fentanyl Crisis

‘We don’t need a bureaucratic talking point– we need a plan and we need a plan now.’

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) today spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate about the need to immediately secure the southern border and stop the flow of deadly, illegal drugs from coming into the United States.

Excerpts from the Senator’s speech can be found below, and his remarks can be viewed here.

“This border surge wasn’t by accident. President Biden pledged to enact an open border agenda by halting border wall construction, reversing successful Trump-era immigration policies, and hamstringing our law enforcement officers. It is one promise he has kept.”

“Just last year, nearly 2 million illegal immigrants were apprehended at our southern border from more than 160 different countries. And for 2022, it looks like we’re on track to exceed that record as this February was the twelfth consecutive month with over 100,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions. And if President Biden’s administration stops invoking Title 42 and doesn’t secure the border, the crisis is going to get dramatically worse. A lot of attention is paid to who is coming across the border – and rightfully so. But it’s time we all turn our attention to what is also coming across – and it’s called deadly fentanyl.”

“I have been to the border and I’ve seen—firsthand—the impact of President Biden’s open borders policies and agenda. At a checkpoint in McAllen, Texas, I saw a truck bed filled with fentanyl… Thankfully, our border patrol officers stopped this particular truck from making it across the border. But for that one being stopped, there’s several more that get across the border.”

“Two milligrams of fentanyl is considered a lethal dose. Two milligrams is the weight of a mosquito. Ten pennies weigh one ounce. One ounce of fentanyl can kill nearly 30,000 people. A football weighs one pound. Just one pound of fentanyl can kill over 200,000 people. In October of last year, in South Alabama, Baldwin County Sheriff deputies seized 14 grams of fentanyl – that’s enough to kill upwards of 7,000 people.”

“The connection between President Biden’s open borders policies and the rise of fentanyl is clear. And the American people are paying a heavy price. Since President Biden’s inauguration, Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 3,000 pounds of illicit fentanyl. That’s a 41% increase from last year.”

“Over the last year, opioids took the lives of 100,000 Americans. To put that into perspective, that is half the size of our capital city in the State of Alabama, would be almost wiped off the map. That is a bone chilling thought. But these numbers are more than a stat. They are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers – all taken too soon; bright futures darkened by a deadly drug addiction.  I spent 40 years traveling the country, visiting young athletes and their families from every walk of life. I had players who battled addiction- or who had close friends who battled addiction. It is a heart breaking procedure to watch a student athlete worry about stepping in for parents who are suffering from addiction…when they should only be worrying about studying for an upcoming test.”

“It’s true that drug addiction has plagued our country for decades. But we’ve seen a sharp rise since the pandemic. Isolation, loss of work, depression – all making the problem worse. And the data confirms this – so it would only make sense to do all we can to help Americans. That would include cutting off the drugs at the primary source – which is the southern border. Yet, the President refuses to take decisive action to stop these deadly substances from flooding into the country. In fact, the answer from the Biden administration is there will be a strategy for dealing with the addiction and fentanyl crisis coming ‘soon.’”

“When President Biden’s drug czar, Rahul Gupta, was asked about the administration plans to address the addiction crisis, he responded that the drug control strategy was in its ‘advanced stages of being finalized.’ To that I say, Americans are losing their lives right now. Lives are being lost every day…  We don’t need a bureaucratic talking point– we need a plan and we need a plan now.”

“While the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue continue to work on their ‘strategy,’ I propose President Biden take a logical and long overdue first step today: enforce our immigration laws at the border, end the free flow of fentanyl, and stop the loss of innocent lives. For a White House that is so laser-focused on the health of Americans as it relates to the pandemic, the same emphasis is lost on safeguarding the health and lives of the American people against deadly drugs coming into our country illegally. By creating – and then failing to address – the disastrous situation at the southern border, President Biden has fueled another crisis as fentanyl ravages our communities.”

“The President has the tools, and the authority, to act quickly and save lives.”

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.