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Stopping the fentanyl crisis demands policy changes at border, with China

A lot more than105,000 Americans died of drug overdosesin the 12 months that ended earlier this October, with two out of three from the scourge of fentanyl almost entirely being smuggled across our Southern border.

Alaska, despite its location farther from the Southern border than any state in the continental U.S., is not spared.

Over an interval of weeks earlier this March, there have been seven deaths and much more than 20 overdose poisonings associated with fentanyl in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley in what the Drug Enforcement Agency classifies as a mass overdose event.

Per month later,in two separate arrests, our High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Forces seized 4,700 counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl.

The 1,244 grams of fentanyl we seized in the initial three months of the year is doubly much once we seized in every of 2021, when overdose deaths increased by 71 percent over 2020.

Those 1,244 grams are enough to kill 660,000 Alaskans, or around 85 percent of our population.

Fentanyl in powder and pill form is making its solution to Alaska via parcel, continued planes, boats and vehicles, or shipped over water. In another of the April arrests, the fentanyl reached our Southeast panhandle on a barge; in another, it had been mailed to an address in the Mat-Su Valley where two men from California and something from Arizona were arrested.

Based on the DEA, fentanyl is coming here after precursor chemicals from China are mixed into powder or pressed into counterfeit pills by Mexican drug cartels. The cartels are clearly benefitting from the humanitarian crisis of thousands of migrants wanting to illegally cross the border on a monthly basis which are overwhelming our Customs and Border Patrol agents.

The numbers dont lie: following the Biden administration reversed just about any policy of the prior administration at the border, illegal border crossings have surged and drug seizures have declined.

In accordance with CBP reports, illegal border crossing encountershave significantly more than doubled since 2019. Simultaneously,drug seizuresthis July were down by33 percentin comparison to July 2021.

A 200 percent jump in fentanyl seizures at the border in July in comparison to Junegenerated headlines, but overall drug seizures were actually down 14 percent for the month. Seizures of meth, cocaine, heroin, along with other, which include oxycontin and precursor chemicals, are on pace to fall far lacking 2021.

Just 1,500 pounds of heroin have already been seized this season in comparison to 5,400 pounds this past year.

We are able to safely assume this drop in seizures cant be related to the cartels taking on other lines of work, especially as fentanyl poisonings keep setting records. On July 5,one million fentanyl pills were seizedin Inglewood, Calif., in a bust from the Sinaloa Cartel.

State leaders are doing the very best we are able to, and Alaska has teamed up with others to talk about intelligence to combat trafficking.

Like other states, we recognize that is also an addiction issue. Were bringing to bear all forces we are able to muster through government resources and partnerships with nonprofit centers to supply help and work to eliminate stigmas that may prevent folks from seeking help.

But our powers are limited. States cant punish China for sending fentanyl precursors to Mexico, and we cant protect the border.

The states delegated our national defense to the government whenever we formed our republic, and the duty for securing our borders and defending Americans from deadly drugs crossing it lies solely with President Biden.

Unmoved by the deaths of thousands of Americans, not the cratering support for Biden and Democrats among overwhelmingly Hispanic districts that border Mexico is apparently enough to force an insurance plan change.

Whether its for moral reasons to save lots of American lives, or for cynical ones to save lots of his partys political future, President Biden has all of the motivation he must reverse his disastrous policies on the Southern border sufficient reason for China.

Mike Dunleavy may be the 12th governor of Alaska.

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