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Fentanyl smuggled across the southern border is taking more than 70,000 American lives per year

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) today introduced the Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act to add drug smuggling as an additional basis for Title 42 immigration enforcement authority, thereby preserving for Border Patrol agents an essential tool to quickly remove illegal border crossers and stop the drug trafficking that is fueling the overdose epidemic in America, now the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18-45. 

Cosponsors of the legislation include Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

“Fentanyl is flowing into Idaho and killing people in our communities every day,” said Risch. “Stronger border policies are a key way to stop this deadly drug from taking more lives."

“The uncontrolled flow of fentanyl from the southern border to our neighborhoods and communities must be stopped,”  said Crapo. “The soaring increase in drug overdose deaths is a public health crisis, and the federal government should have every tool available to combat drug smuggling and illegal border crossings into the United States.”

“70,000 Americans are dying annually from drug overdoses—most from deadly fentanyl flooding across our collapsed southern border,”  said Hagerty. “With the Biden Administration pushing to end Title 42 in May, it is unconscionable for Congress to stand aside and do nothing to preserve it. And while I agree that the pandemic is over, there is a new epidemic plaguing our nation—one that demands immediate action. We cannot afford to allow this shockingly-lethal drug to continue wreaking havoc on our communities and killing our youth. Congress must take up and pass this commonsense legislation without delay—too many innocent American lives hang in the balance.”

In February, the Biden Administration argued to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is currently hearing a case regarding the legality of Biden Administration efforts to terminate Title 42, that Title 42 will terminate in May 2023 with the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency status. The Senators’ legislation would preserve continued use of Title 42 authority in order to combat drug trafficking at the border.

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