U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Monday about the need to immediately secure the southern border and stop the flow of deadly illegal drugs from coming into the United States.

“This border surge wasn’t by accident," said Tuberville. "President Biden pledged to enact an open border agenda by halting border wall construction, reversing successful Trump-era immigration policies, and hamstringing our law enforcement officers. It is one promise he has kept.

“Just last year, nearly two million illegal immigrants were apprehended at our southern border from more than 160 different countries, and for 2022, it looks like we’re on track to exceed that record as this February was the 12th consecutive month with over 100,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions. And if President Biden’s administration stops invoking Title 42 and doesn’t secure the border, the crisis is going to get dramatically worse. A lot of attention is paid to who is coming across the border – and rightfully so. But it’s time we all turn our attention to what is also coming across – and it’s called deadly fentanyl.”

Tuberville said that he has been to the border and seen firsthand the impact of Biden's open borders policy and agenda, seeing a truck bed filled with fentanyl trying to cross at a checkpoint in McAllen, Texas. He said that thankfully, the Border Patrol stopped that one and seized its contents, but for each one stopped, several more get across the border with their deadly cargo.

It only takes two milligrams of fentanyl to kill a person. A teaspoon of salt for comparison contains 2,325 milligrams of salt.

“Two milligrams is the weight of a mosquito,” Tuberville said. “Ten pennies weigh one ounce. One ounce of fentanyl can kill nearly 30,000 people. A football weighs one pound. Just one pound of fentanyl can kill over 200,000 people. In October of last year, in south Alabama, Baldwin County Sheriff deputies seized 14 grams of fentanyl – that’s enough to kill upwards of 7,000 people.”

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Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. It is becoming increasingly common now to find heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or MDMA laced with fentanyl on the street. Fentanyl is more potent than the other drugs and it is a lot cheaper. Street dealers use it as a supplement in all sorts of products. A single dose of heroin on the street is approximately $20, cocaine $20, methamphetamine $5, and MDMA $20. Fentanyl is just $2. 

“The connection between President Biden’s open borders policies and the rise of fentanyl is clear,” Tuberville said. “And the American people are paying a heavy price. Since President Biden’s inauguration, Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 3,000 pounds of illicit fentanyl. That’s a 41% increase from last year.”

2021 was the worst year for drug overdoses in American history.

“Over the last year, opioids took the lives of 100,000 Americans,” Tuberville said. “To put that into perspective, that is half the size of our capital city in the state of Alabama, [which] would be almost wiped off the map. That is a bone-chilling thought. But these numbers are more than a stat. They are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers – all taken too soon; bright futures darkened by a deadly drug addiction. I spent 40 years traveling the country, visiting young athletes and their families from every walk of life. I had players who battled addiction- or who had close friends who battled addiction. It is a heart-breaking procedure to watch a student-athlete worry about stepping in for parents who are suffering from addiction…when they should only be worrying about studying for an upcoming test.”

Provisional data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before. Much of this is being attributed to the economic shutdowns and people using more alcohol and drugs to deal with the stress of fear of COVID-19 and the disruption of their normal lives.

“It’s true that drug addiction has plagued our country for decades,” Tuberville said. “But we’ve seen a sharp rise since the pandemic. Isolation, loss of work, depression – all making the problem worse. And the data confirms this – so it would only make sense to do all we can to help Americans. That would include cutting off the drugs at the primary source – which is the southern border. Yet, the President refuses to take decisive action to stop these deadly substances from flooding into the country. In fact, the answer from the Biden administration is there will be a strategy for dealing with the addiction and fentanyl crisis coming ‘soon.’”

Tuberville expressed his frustration with the lack of action by the Biden administration.

“When President Biden’s drug czar, Rahul Gupta, was asked about the administration plans to address the addiction crisis, he responded that the drug control strategy was in its ‘advanced stages of being finalized,” Tuberville said. “To that I say, Americans are losing their lives right now. Lives are being lost every day...  We don’t need a bureaucratic talking point– we need a plan and we need a plan now. While the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue continue to work on their ‘strategy,’ I propose President Biden take a logical and long-overdue first step today: enforce our immigration laws at the border, end the free flow of fentanyl, and stop the loss of innocent lives.”

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.