House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) will join Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper) will visit the southern border next week to observe the ever-deteriorating mechanism at the United States-Mexico line.

According to Ledbetter, several state agencies organized the trip for state leaders to understand better the border situation and how it impacts the state.

"I think its something that our state agencies wanted us to do, law enforcement agencies," Ledbetter said. "The Pro Tem and I will be going to Texas and visiting the border. I think it's hugely important for us to see what's going on."

House Bill 1 (HB1) by State Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Daphne), which adds trafficking fentanyl to the list of substances subject to mandatory minimum sentences in Alabama, was signed into law on April 6.

According to Ledbetter, the border trip will further increase state leadership's ability to combat trafficking into the state from Mexico, citing the failures of Pres. Joe Biden in addressing increased traffic at the border.

"My number one priority has been all summer and all winter last year was to make sure that we passed the fentanyl bill," Ledbetter said. "And as most of you know, the Biden administration has failed miserably at securing our border. And I think it's important for us as a state to see what's going on so we can monitor those issues and try to get in front of them, and there's no question the fentanyl bill, I think, did that. And we certainly appreciate the opportunity to go."

He continued, "It's an opportunity for us to bring back some ability of knowing what's happening and maybe something that we can do to protect the people of Alabama."

Reed and Ledbetter will travel to Texas on Monday, May 1, and return Tuesday, May 2.

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