On Tuesday’s broadcast of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) stated that “the first thing we need to do” to combat the fentanyl crisis is to pressure China to stop sending fentanyl precursors abroad.
Cuellar said, “Well, when you talk about fentanyl, opioids, or cocaine or anything else like that, there [are] two parts of it. There’s a demand and there’s a supply. There’s a demand here in the U.S., no ifs, no buts, people are using drugs, and then, that’s the demand. The supply, you’ve got criminal organizations that say, hey, look, if somebody’s willing to pay for fentanyl or pay for cocaine or whatever, we’re going to supply it. And they make billions of dollars either crossing people, smuggling people, trafficking people, or passing drugs into the U.S.”
He continued, “The fentanyl is very important. Sometimes, people say, oh, the migrants are bringing in the fentanyl, they’re bringing in the fentanyl, they’re coming across the border. When you look at, 94% of the meth, 90% of the fentanyl, most drugs will come through ports of entry, not in between ports. So, when people say, put up walls so we can stop drugs and people, keep in mind, most drugs will come through ports of entry. So, we need technology, K9 personnel at the border, both the southern and the northern border, also.”
Cuellar concluded, “And keep in mind that fentanyl also comes in — the precursors will come from China and India, but mainly China. They go into two ports in the Pacific there with Mexico, then the bad guys will go ahead and manipulate that and send it off to the U.S., and then, when they come through the ports of entry — mainly through the California or the Arizona area — keep in mind that when they come through ports of entry itself, the U.S. Sentencing Commission will say that the people that bring in drugs through the ports of entry — where most drugs will come in — about 86% of the people are American citizens. And that’s why we’ve got to, like you said, we’ve got to have common sense on how we address the issue. And the first thing we need to do is we need to put pressure on China to make sure they stop sending the precursors, whether it’s by ship or [it’s by] airplane or by mail into the U.S.”
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