Highlighting the border and fentanyl crises, border patrol chiefs and House Republicans noted 9,400 pounds of fentanyl has been seized by the Department of Homeland Security between October and December.
House Oversight and Accountability Democrats hailed the seizures as a victory, then denounced Republicans for talking about the border, and called Republicans racist and “amplifying white nationalism” for bringing it to a public hearing.
“I’m just going to cut to the chase,” Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., who is Black, said at the hearing. “For my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who want to state that we’re using this hearing for white nationalism, I’m not doing that.
“So, if you feel that strongly, come walk to this side of the room and let’s talk about it face-to-face. But leave that kind of silly stuff for somebody else. Don’t bring that here today. This stuff is serious.”
President Joe Biden’s border policies are to blame, according to Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., who asked Tucson sector Chief Patrol Agent John Modlin and Rio Grande Valley sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez during Tuesday’s hearing how many people that much fentanyl could kill.
They did not know, although just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can kill someone.
“I’ll do the math for you: It’s 1.6 billion people, with a B,” Burchett said. “That’s enough fentanyl to kill every American almost five times over.
“And the bottom line is, this country was on its way, I felt, to a secure border under President Trump, but President Biden put an end to that on his first day in office. I believe Americans are dying as a result.”
Approximately 76% of the total fentanyl seizures, or 7,200 pounds, was stopped at the southwest border, according to DHS data.
And that is just the fentanyl that did not get through.
Modlin and Chavez both admitted the migrants encountered are attempting to illegally enter the United States because they believed Biden’s border policies changed and would permit them to cross.
In fact, migrants say when arrested they believed the border to be “open,” according to Modlin.
“Fentanyl is a weapon that is coming across our borders that’s killing young people at a record level,” Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., said. “The drug overdose death-rate for people under age 24 is at an all-time-high, especially among the African American community.
“I have a real hard time understanding why we continue to operate the way that we operate.”
Chair James Comer, R-Ky., rejected Democrat attempts to deflect the border and fentanyl numbers by calling Republicans racist and “amplifying white nationalism.”
Conducting oversight of Biden’s border policies and holding the administration accountable should not be partisan, but Democrats have made it that way since Biden took office, Comer said.
“The first time since Joe Biden’s been president that anyone representing the border has been asked to come before this committee,” Comer said.
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