- - Monday, July 16, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

One kilo. 1 million pills. $10 million in cash. The opioid fentanyl is so powerful, 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) can produce 1 million pills, fetching $10 million in street value. Heroin, by contrast, is only 1/50 the strength.

Last year, an East Liverpool, Ohio, police officer briefly came into physical contact with fentanyl during a drug stop, brushing some powder off his shirt with his bare hand. Minutes later, he collapsed. Only emergency doses of anti-opioid Narcan administered by nearby EMTs saved the officer’s life.

This is the substance that is coming across our borders in shockingly high amounts, dramatically escalating a drug epidemic that has already ravaged much of rural America.

And the left is not only fighting for a “world without borders,” Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is pushing legislation to dramatically expand foreign drug commerce, a step law enforcement officials have warned would completely overwhelm current enforcement efforts.

Late last month, an internal assessment from Canada’s Border Services Agency (CBSA), essentially the Canadian equivalent agency to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), came to public light, offering a candid glimpse into how top border officials view the threat.



Fentanyl’s insane potency makes it relatively easy to smuggle, as it’s easier to hide the smaller quantities needed. Because of this, smugglers had predominantly used the mail system, evading detection by shipping tiny amounts.

But in recent months, the CBSA has observed a sharp increase in the use of commercial vehicles and private cars to ferry much larger volumes of the deadly substance across infrequently used roads in rural Eastern Canada.

As it happens, commercial vehicles are one of the primary threat vectors critics of “drug reimportation” bills pushed by Mr. Sanders and others point to in arguing that dramatically expanding the cross-border drug trade would provide the perfect cover for smuggling operations that could easily dwarf today’s.

These warnings have come from experts both from law enforcement and health care.

“Bernie Sanders’ drug-importation bill keeps me awake at night,” wrote Derek Arnson, the former chief of police in Nogales, Arizona.

“This is not a trivial problem,” wrote the four most recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioners — appointees of both Barack Obama and George W. Bush — in a recent joint letter, adding, “global experience confirms that illicit, ineffective, or adulterated products are readily available on the open market and represent one of the most lucrative avenues for organized crime.”

If you’re keeping score at home, drug cartels with resources that exceed those of some governments are trafficking one of the most deadly substances in the history of medicine virtually unchallenged across international borders.

But that’s not what the media is in a tizzy about. Instead we are all having a collective meltdown that a small fraction of people coming across our border (not the 90 percent of kids whose parents sent them to walk across the desert alone) are temporarily separated from one another upon arrest.

Reading the newspaper is occasionally an otherworldly experience these days. The governor of Arizona just published an op-ed in USA Today arguing that abolishing ICE is a bad idea. And it is definitely a bad idea. So is abolishing the Army, letting all the criminals out of jail en masse, holding kindergarten recess in the middle of a busy street, or any other number of insane ideas that apparently don’t require refuting by a sitting governor this week.

Mr. Sanders, meanwhile, apparently does not care about the drug crisis ravaging our country. Despite the worsening crisis, he has yet to pull his re-imporation bill or even work to mitigate its disastrous effects. Of course, this is not exactly surprising from the man who helped cover up the Department of Veterans Affairs’ deplorable treatment of veterans so he could keep trying to convince us we should let the government run our health care system.

Liberals are so fond of telling us how much they care about the people. The problem is their policies rarely show it.

• Chris Salcedo, a radio talk-show host, is the author of “Liberty Rises” and executive director of The Conservative Hispanic Society.

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