MIL-OSI USA: Cortez Masto & Colleagues Urge Biden to Prioritize Border Security, Fentanyl Crackdown in Budget Request

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US Senate News:

Source: United States Senator for Nevada Cortez Masto

As President prepares FY25 budget request, Senators are pushing for prioritization of border security and anti-fentanyl measures

After Republicans blocked border security measures this month, Democratic Senators are continuing to work to secure border and combat fentanyl

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and 15 of their Senate colleagues in a letter to President Joe Biden outlining the urgent need for robust funding for border security and drug interdiction efforts to stem the flow of fentanyl and similar illicit drugs being smuggled across the border through official ports of entry. In fiscal year 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 240,000 pounds of drugs at the southwest border, which included an estimated 1.1 billion doses of fentanyl. Forty-four percent of total drug seizures and 99 percent of fentanyl seizures occurred at the southwest border.

“In order to meaningfully address the fentanyl crisis, law enforcement officers at our Nation’s borders must be equipped to combat the flow of fentanyl and other illicit drugs. We must also support the law enforcement agencies that are investigating these smuggling and trafficking crimes and working to disrupt the transnational criminal networks that threaten our country and our communities,” the senators wrote.

The effort comes on the heels of a push to include border security funding and immigration policy changes in a national security emergency spending bill—which Senate Republicans ultimately blocked after negotiating the deal. The original bipartisan deal included funding to secure the southwest border by hiring additional border protection officers and providing additional border security inspection technology and equipment to detect and stop fentanyl flowing into the U.S. through official ports of entry along the southwest border—provisions also included in Senator Cortez Masto’s Stop Fentanyl at the Border Act.

In addition to Senator Casey, the letter to President Biden was signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

You can read the full letter HERE

Senator Cortez Masto has consistently pushed to fix our broken immigration system by balancing critical border security measures with a path to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers. She’s also called on the Biden administration to prioritize additional resources to stop the flow of illicit drugs like fentanyl through ports of entry along the border.