Unveils legislation to stop fentanyl border crossings
WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today in a press conference at the U.S. Capitol announced that he is leading a delegation of Tennessee sheriffs and mayors to the border this weekend to see the national security crisis there firsthand. Hagerty also announced legislation he introduced today to expand pandemic-related Title 42 expedited removal authority to combat another border-related health crisis—the drug-overdose epidemic resulting from drug smuggling across our southern border. This legislation comes amid reports that the Biden Administration is ending this successful Title 42 authority, despite that the fentanyl-fueled overdose epidemic in Tennessee is worse than ever.
“What I’d like to share with you is what’s happening in my home state of Tennessee. What we’re seeing month after month are more overdoses and more deaths from illegal drugs that are coming across that southern border. That’s why this weekend, I’m going to take a group of leaders, sheriffs and mayors from my home state that are experiencing this firsthand in Tennessee, we’re going to travel to the border so that we can all encounter this and see exactly what’s happening and what’s failing at the border, because it’s precipitating deaths around the nation. 100,000 young people have died in America—just this past year alone—from drug overdoses,” said Senator Hagerty.
With drug overdose deaths now exceeding 100,000 Americans annually and reports that President Biden will eliminate Title 42 authority—a successful Trump-era border security policy that allowed quick removal of more than 1,000,000 illegal border crossers during Fiscal Year 2021 alone—Hagerty has introduced the Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act, which would expand Title 42 authority to quickly remove illegal aliens when necessary to combat substantial illicit drug smuggling across the southern border.
“Make no mistake—these drugs are coming across the porous border to our south. It’s a failure of policy by this Administration. And this war is being waged on America by the Chinese Communist Party that are sending fentanyl and its precursors into Mexico, where they’re being manufactured, and then shipping those drugs across the border, killing young people in my state, in states all over the United States of America. It’s got to stop. So today, I’m going to introduce legislation that will give additional Title 42 authority, because the real public health epidemic is the deaths that we’re experiencing from drug overdoses. So today we’re going to expand that authority. That’s what my legislation will do—to use drug overdoses, to use the threat of drug smuggling, as another means, another tool for border enforcement to turn these people back to stop what’s happening at our southern border. We do need a strong policy in place, and this is one thing I hope we can use to address it,” Hagerty concluded.