To tackle the drug crisis, the government must secure the southern border

OOur country has used the COVID-19 pandemic to cripple our economy for a year and a half and demonize fellow citizens deemed non-compliant or insufficiently serious about the virus and the measures ordered to stop it. Even as vaccines became available and the virus became less severe and more contained, public health officials insisted that people needed to change their daily lives to adapt. Meanwhile, another deadlier public health crisis has been allowed to unfold unchecked.

Every day, more than 100 people in America die from drug overdoses. In the past three years alone, drug-related deaths have
increased by 31%
and have
quadrupled since 1999
. And unlike the COVID-19 pandemic, this crisis is directly affecting our nation’s future generations — younger, otherwise healthy Americans. Indeed, a study revealed that between 2015 and 2019, young people lost approximately
1.2 million years of life
due to drug overdoses.

Driven in large part by illegal fentanyl, drug-related deaths are now the leading cause of death among people between the ages of 18 and 45. is cancer, a car accident or suicide. The most recent figures should raise alarm bells: more than 100,000 people lost their lives to drug-related deaths in 2021, not to mention other associated injuries, family and social destruction caused by drugs and crime rates that generally follow them.

If a terrorist cell attacked an American city and we lost 100,000 people, we would not hesitate to hold those responsible to account. Yet when we have a preventable drug crisis, the Democratic ruling class and their allies in the media seem asleep.

The problem, unlike COVID-19, is about will, not ability. The vast majority of illegal fentanyl in this country comes through our southern border. Democrats and the media will admit it, but claim the problem is a porosity problem, which is an insulting understatement. A “porous border” implies that there are only small perforations in our immigration enforcement system. This is far from defining the current state of our southern border. Our border is no more perforated than Niagara Falls is a murmuring stream.

Our ignored border policies and the government’s blasé attitude towards their enforcement have turned border states like my home state of Arizona into the main transportation hub for cartels and drug traffickers. And while the problem may start near the border, the drug trade is fueling addiction and death for young people across the United States.

Securing the border once and for all is not just our constitutional duty – it should be our top public health and safety priority. Certainly, an insecure border weakens our sovereignty and increases stress on border towns and federal systems that must support the millions of illegal immigrants pouring into our country. It costs our health, law enforcement, education and other service institutions, and the citizens who are supposed to cover them. But more importantly, an unsecured border puts lives at risk. Secure it and you will save thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of young people who might otherwise have fallen into a life of addiction.

Our government has proven during the COVID-19 pandemic that it is more than capable of taking a public health crisis seriously and launching a full-fledged effort to combat it. The good news is that this massive and growing public health crisis is solvable and, unlike COVID, can be fought without violating our rights. In fact, tackling the drug crisis by securing the border and deploying other law enforcement tools would actually strengthen our constitutional right to live free and safe. As Attorney General of Arizona, I would work every day to make sure the people of Arizona have that right.

Almost 2,000 years have passed since the death of Roman Emperor Nero – and there’s a reason we still know about him. It’s not Rome, but too many people currently believe that the best solution is to fiddle while social destruction continues swiftly and unabated. But the fire is there and everyone knows it. There are no more excuses.

Abraham Hamadeh is a former U.S. Army Reserve prosecutor and captain and intelligence officer and is Trump’s endorsed candidate for attorney general of Arizona.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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