Kentucky and U.S. Face Deadly Consequences of Democrats’ Border Crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding law and order:
“Yesterday, I met with members of the Kentucky Narcotics Officers Association to discuss the ongoing substance abuse crisis in my home state.
“These front-line professionals have watched Kentucky pass some grim milestones in recent years. This is one of the most horrifying consequences of the ongoing breakdown of law and order in our country.
“In 2020, overdose deaths in the Commonwealth increased nearly 50% from the year prior, reaching an all-time high of 1,964.
“Then last year, we broke that record again, recording 2,250 overdose deaths – 14.5% higher than in 2020.
“Remember, as of this past January, two years into the pandemic, fentanyl alone had killed more Americans aged 18 to 45 than the coronavirus.
“That’s not even all overdoses, that’s just fentanyl alone.
“The Kentucky law enforcement officers with whom I got to visit work every day to try and reverse these heart-wrenching trends.
“They’ve had some success. Earlier this month, in Louisville, law enforcement seized a full kilogram of fentanyl in Louisville. The experts say that’s enough of the drug to kill half a million people.
“But they are struggling to stem the cascade of narcotics pouring onto our streets. The reason for this, they told me, is clear: our unsecured borders.
“Already this year, our overwhelmed Customs and Border Patrol agents encountered more than 1.6 million illegal crossers at our border. That’s close to the total number of encounters for all of last year.
“Some of those individuals were promptly detained and deported. But many of them were booked briefly and then released into the American heartland. Presumably, we’ll never hear from most of them again.
“These are just the known encounters, to say nothing of the 900,000 ‘got-aways’ that DHS officials think have taken place since the beginning of the last fiscal year.
“Put another way, a group of people larger than the entire population of Louisville broke into our country without interacting with border agents at all.
“Alongside this human tide is an ever-increasing flood of illicit drugs, most notably fentanyl. That drug played a role in 72% of overdoses in Kentucky last year.
“CBP officials have seized 5,722 pounds of the stuff this year alone. Imagine how much slipped through their fingers and onto our streets.
“Are Democrats admitting this is an emergency? Are they working overtime to put a tourniquet on this crisis?
“Just the opposite. Secretary Mayorkas jetted to a summit in Aspen, Colorado earlier this month and pronounced, ‘the border is secure.’
“Maybe that kind of talk plays well at a ritzy ski resort packed with liberals. It doesn’t play well with law enforcement and first responders in states like Kentucky who have to deal with crime and fatal drug overdoses every single day.
“The far left throws our borders open for ideological reasons, and it’s the most vulnerable communities that pay the deadly price.
“The President of the National Border Patrol Council has directly contradicted the Biden Administration’s insistence that our southern border is in great shape.
“He said, ‘the cartels use illegal border crossers to facilitate their higher value contraband, including… fentanyl.’ In other words, more illegal immigration means more of this illegal poison.
“But President Biden and Washington Democrats won’t admit it.
“Their response to the border crisis has been to issue new internal guidance encouraging border personnel to use more politically correct language when referring to criminal aliens.
“They’d rather police language than police our border.
“Remember, the Biden Administration spent taxpayer dollars going to court arguing they have the right to end the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy and throw our borders open even wider.
“President Biden tried to cut funding for ICE in his most recent budget.
“Washington liberals say it’s the compassionate policy to lure desperate people into inhumane conditions, let the drug cartels have open season, and let Americans die as a result.
“That isn’t compassion. It’s cruelty. An abdication of duty with deadly consequences for the American people.”
Related Issues: Crime, Senate Democrats, Law Enforcement, Immigration, Homeland Security