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Sunday, July 21st, 2024

Bill to stop fentanyl from crossing the border introduced

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On Tuesday, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Bob Casey and Mark Kelly (both D-AZ) introduced legislation to address the fentanyl crisis by stopping it at the southern border.

The legislation, the Stop Fentanyl at the Border Act, would increase staffing capacity, as well as add technology to bolster security and detect illicit drugs being smuggled through ports of entry along the U.S. southern border.

“Families and communities across the Commonwealth have been devastated by the spread of fentanyl,” Warner said. “This legislation will help our law enforcement officers at the border stop the flow of fentanyl into this country by providing personnel and equipment needed secure our border.”

Officials said the legislation would allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to hire more officers and patrol agents, and to fund the purchase of non-intrusive inspection system that scan vehicles and cargo. Those systems would give agents detailed images of the interiors of the cargo and vehicles leading to the detection of fentanyl and other drugs. Additionally, the bill would create a program to increase the seizure of firearms being exported from the U.S. to Mexico that are used to support fentanyl production operations and other criminal enterprises.

Previously, the Senators had called on President Joe Biden to prioritize providing additional resources to strengthen the Southwest border as a means to stop the flow of fentanyl and other illicit drugs into the U.S.

Other Congress members supporting the legislation included U.S. Sens. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).