Will the border wall stop the opioid crisis? | The Tylt
With fewer than half of all Americans in favor of building a border wall, President Donald Trump has been on a media blitz trying to sway public opinion. One of the biggest tools he has used to try to convince the public is the opioid crisis. The president claimed numerous times that a wall on the southern border will completely stem the tide of drugs flowing into the country. Drug enforcement officials and researchers, however, say a wall will do nothing to stop the root causes of the problem. What do you think?
Will the border wall stop the opioid crisis?
The president focused on the proliferation of opioids during his Oval Office address to the American public. Per Vox:
“Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl,” Trump said. “Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.”
He has tweeted about drugs flowing through the southern border consistently since taking office.
Criminals, Gangs, Human Traffickers, Drugs & so much other big trouble can easily pour in. It can be stopped cold!
Experts roundly disagree with the president's assertions. The New Yorker reports a government report has indicated most drugs come into the country through roads and previously designated entry-points.
The Drug Enforcement Agency’s 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment underlines the point: the majority of the heroin that gets across the southwest border, which is indeed where most heroin enters the United States, comes in privately owned cars, trucks, and tractor-trailers “entering the United States at legal ports of entry.” (Cocaine predominantly arrives in vehicles at official points of entry as well, according to the D.E.A, though commercial air travel is another route.)
The Atlantic reports a wall would do nothing to stop opioids from entering the country.
Opioids are a big business. Their production is industrialized and sophisticated. Sending ad hoc groups over the border with fentanyl and heroin, in the no-man’s-land between ports of entry, is likely not efficient enough to meet intense American demand. No wall could help stop the flow, in other words, no matter how well it’s funded and no matter what it’s made with.