U.S. Congressman Pat Ryan is demanding increased funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to combat fentanyl trafficking at the Southern Border. He proposed an amendment to the pending immigration bill to add $800M to stop the flow of fentanyl into the communities.
The funding being requested in his proposal includes additional illicit-drug inspection equipment, additional intelligence analysts and canine units to increase the percentage of incoming passenger vehicles searched at the border, new operating labs at ports of entry to accelerate the identification of narcotics seized, and expanding a program to seize currency, weapons and contraband that is flowing to transnational criminal organizations in Mexico.
“As Ulster County Executive, I declared a public health emergency in response to the fentanyl epidemic in our region and helped lead the largest illicit drug seizure in County history. Now we need to take federal action – fentanyl is taking too many lives and destroying too many families in the Hudson Valley,” said Ryan. “It is absolutely unacceptable that the pending border legislation doesn’t even include the word ‘fentanyl’ one single time. I hope the leaders of both parties will recognize the crisis we are facing and add this crucial amendment to H.R.2.”
Last Congress, Ryan led the “Securing America’s Borders Against Fentanyl Act,” bipartisan legislation that requires DHS to focus on developing new technological solutions to target and detect illicit fentanyl at U.S. borders and ports of entry. It was signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.