Sen. David Perdue of Georgia recently visited the U.S.-Mexico border. Despite what’s been happening in the news, Perdue said that he was “not prepared” for the incredible amount of drug trafficking that was taking place at the border. “I saw something that I was not expecting,” said Perdue. “I expected to see the human trafficking, and we saw that with (Border) Patrol overnight. What I was not prepared for was the size and scope and how dramatically the drug trafficking has grown,” explained Perdue.
Perdue explained that there has been an “explosion” of drug trafficking in the are of McAllen, Texas. What’s not surprising is the kind of drugs that were seized at the border. Sen. Perdue said that the amount of fentanyl seized at the border has gone up about 73% in the past year. He also found that methamphetamine is coming in through the border at extremely high levels, as well. “This is a drug crisis of gargantuan proportion,” Perdue said.
Perdue explained that the Mexican cartels only use human trafficking as a “distraction” to keep the Border Patrol agents busy, which makes it much easier for the drug traffickers to come through the border illegally. According to NBC News, the reported the number of migrants that crossed the border in February reached a 12-year-high of 76,100 people.
The fiscal year started in October, and since then, Border Patrol has taken custody of over 268,000 people trying to enter into the country. According to the White House, this is actually a 97% increase compared to the same time last year.
Perdue said that “Cartels are thought to make about $2 billion in human trafficking while trafficking drugs nets over $30 billion.” Senator Perdue has said that there’s no doubt in his mind that the situation at the border is absolutely a crisis, which is exactly how President Barack Obama described the situation, as well. Perdue explained that 135 miles of barriers were built along the border in the south while Obama ran the administration. “President Donald Trump has 124 miles under construction and improvement to existing barriers underway, and Congress just authorized 55 miles of new construction,” said Perdue.
According to CNN, approximately 650 miles of the 1,954 border have some sort of barrier covering it, including 374 miles of pedestrian-type fencing. Perdue believes that there’s absolutely no question that walls work. “We know that where you build walls, illegal activity drops by 95 percent,” he explained.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he’s hopeful that enough Republican senators with join rank with the Democrats to pass a resolution that will block President Trump’s emergency declaration to fund the border wall.
“I think what is clear in the Senate is that there will be enough votes to pass the resolution of disapproval, which will then be vetoed by the president and then in all likelihood the veto will be upheld in the House,” said McConnell to reporters in Kentucky.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Susan Collins from Maine, Thom Tillis from North Carolina, and Rand Paul of Kentucky have all said that they were planning to vote for a resolution of disapproval, adding to the 51 senators needed to pass the vote. Just last week, the resolution of disapproval passed the Democrat-controlled House. Trump has the power to veto. It would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers to override Trump’s veto.
Not only does Trump get the $1.375 billion that Congress voted for, but the White also plans on redirecting $3.6 billion from a construction fund for the military, $2.5 billion from a Department of Defense drug interdiction program as well as $600 million from the Treasury Department from a drug forfeiture fund. Trump’s national emergency is specifically being used to get access to the $3.6 billion from the military construction fund. According to Politico, Trump has expressed that if he were to veto the measure, it wouldn’t be overridden by opposers. “We have too many smart people that want border security so I can’t imagine it (the resolution) will survive a veto,” said President Trump.