tags: Press Releases

CNN: “Fentanyl Being Seized is More Proof that the Border is Not Actually Open”

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GOP Lies on “Open Borders” and Fentanyl Revealed

Washington, DC – Heading towards the midterm elections, Republicans continue to beat their nativist drum about the alleged deadly fentanyl trafficked by migrants through Joe Biden’s “open border.” While Fentanyl is indeed a deadly serious matter facing the country, the problem with the typical GOP talking point is that it’s just not true. The border is not “open,” nor is fentanyl an immigration issue. Over the weekend, CNN’s political fact checker Daniel Dale weighed in: 

“Fentanyl being seized is more proof that the border is not actually open” – CNN’s political fact checker Daniel Dale

“One common Republican claim is that the U.S. has a “open border” under Joe Biden. That is just not true…Republicans also keep citing the large quantities of fentanyl being seized at the border, but fentanyl being seized is more proof the border is not actually open. And here’s a critical point almost never mentioned in GOP talking points: the vast majority of the seizures happen at the legal ports of entry where cars and buses and trucks line up to enter. In the vast majority of the time, it is being brought in by US citizens or legal residents.

About 85 percent of the fentanyl seized at the Southwest border this fiscal year has been seized at legal ports, and the other 15 percent or so tends to be seized at Border Patrol checkpoints inside the U.S. not from migrants walking across.

So, the image Republicans are trying to create is a migrant sneaking through the desert with a sack of drugs, that happens in some tiny percentage of cases, but it is certainly not the predominant story.”

A prime example of how Republican leaders and candidates are spreading disinformation is captured in this story from the AL.com (Alabama Media Group, Birmingham News, Huntsville Times) Fentanyl crisis: Alabama Republicans blame ‘open borders,’ while others blast GOP for playing politics:

“Two leading Alabama Republicans are joining other GOP colleagues nationwide in blaming the rise in fentanyl-related overdose deaths to a flood of undocumented immigrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

… In a late July news release, the immigration rights lobbying organization America’s Voice, blasted Republicans for taking a “cynical” approach of linking the fentanyl and opioid crisis to the immigration issue.

The group, in a news release, said there is no correlation between the rise of U.S. Custom and Border Patrol encounters with immigrants to the overdose deaths in the U.S … America’s Voice, in its news release, argues that 99% of all drugs interdicted at the border are brought in through ports of entry by cars, trucks, boats, and planes – not on the backs of migrants and asylum seekers.”

The following is a statement from Zachary Mueller, Political Director for America’s Voice:

“Fentanyl is not an immigration issue, nor do we have ‘open borders.’ The facts are clear,  90% of fentanyl is smuggled in cars and trucks through legal ports of entry, mostly by U.S. citizens funded by demand from U.S. citizens. 

But Republicans are intentionally peddling this dangerous disinformation for their own self-gain at the expense of the American people. There are serious and urgent challenges the nation must face with synthetic fentanyl and the families and communities hit hardest by the opioid crisis deserve solutions, not scapegoats.”