Open Borders Advocates Use Semantic Straw Man to Deny Fentanyl Crisis and Migration Crisis Are Related
No one has actually made the claim that the unprecedented number of migrants crossing our borders illegally are responsible for smuggling fentanyl into the United States. But that hasn’t deterred advocates for open borders from launching a full-scale effort to debunk the claim for the overt purpose of portraying the millions of unlawful border crossers as scapegoats.
It is a classic straw man argument: Assert that critics of President Biden’s open borders policies are unfairly blaming migrants for America’s opioid crisis in order to deflect attention from the actual harm being caused by millions of people pouring across the border.
A really long article published by CBS News, “Fentanyl seizures rise at the U.S.-Mexico border – here’s why,” takes great care to explain that 84 percent of the fentanyl seized entering the U.S. in FY 2022 was actually coming right through legal ports of entry. Moreover, between 2017 and 2021, 86 percent of the smugglers were U.S. citizens (a disturbing fact that indicates that the Mexican drug cartels have established a vast network of operatives on our side of the border).
That was enough for Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the ranking minority member on the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, to play the victim card on behalf of the illegal migrants.
She was not alone. After a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the matter last week, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) declared, with all due indignation, “What I find particularly pernicious is the attempt to conflate the issues of migrants seeking asylum through our legal processes with the very real scourge of fentanyl trafficking.” Likewise, the architect of the border disaster, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, protested that it is “unequivocally false that fentanyl is being brought to the United States by non-citizens encountered in between the ports of entry who are making claims of credible fear and seeking asylum.”
Except, if you keep reading through CBS’s long explainer, way down near the bottom you discover that the migration crisis and the fentanyl crisis are related. Very few migrants may be carrying fentanyl (or other narcotics) with them, if for no other reason than they plan to turn themselves in to the Border Patrol in the expectation that they will be processed, released and transported anywhere they want to go. But, as CBS concedes, the migration crisis has created the opportunity for the drug cartels to move tons of lethal narcotics across the border.
“[F]ederal law enforcement concedes that the Department of Homeland Security is working with a ‘finite number of resources’ to tackle simultaneous challenges of record-breaking fentanyl trafficking and migrants seeking asylum in the United States. ‘If we have a group of 200 migrants turn themselves in, we of course have to process and transport them, etc.,’ one CBP official said. ‘When we’re doing that, we don’t necessarily know what’s going on the rest of the border.’”
In other words, while Customs and Border Protection is tied up processing more than a quarter of a million migrants each month, the criminal cartels – the same ones that are smuggling migrants – are moving weapons of mass murder in the form of tiny pills across vast unguarded sections of the border or through short-staffed ports of entry.
So let’s be very clear: Advocates for secure borders are not blaming migrants for the fentanyl crisis. Rather, we are accusing them of violating our immigration laws and, in many cases, defrauding our asylum system. Blame for the fentanyl crisis rests with the Chinese government, where the chemicals used to produce this poison originate, the Mexican drug cartels that produce the pills and move them across the border, and the Biden administration for creating the conditions that have made it easy for the aforementioned parties to kill more than 100,000 Americans a year.