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When President Joe Biden delivers his annual message to Congress on Tuesday, we have no doubt he’ll once again declare — as he has the past two years — that the “State of the Union is strong.”
But this is far from the truth.
What he is sure not to mention is the historic crisis at the border that has been going on for two years, created and perpetuated by his and his administration’s open border policies. Most recently, the crisis included nine consecutive months in which the number of illegal border crossings exceeded 200,000, with the number surpassing 250,000 in December, the highest ever recorded. In total, the record-breaking influx of illegal immigrants in 2022 was more than twice the population of Montana or half the population of Alabama.
Granted, taking responsibility for anything, let alone the worst border crisis in our nation’s history, will place high expectations on this president. However, if he cares at all about the safety of Americans, he must begin to take this crisis and its collateral consequences seriously, especially how chaos at the border has led to deadly drug floods and violent crime. has spread the wave within and across us. Country.
Lawmakers asked Biden to add an Office of National Drug Control Policy amid record overdoses
During his presidency, Biden welcomed nearly 5.5 million illegal immigrants to American soil. It is almost impossible to imagine how America could absorb such a large number of people entering our nation illegally in such a short period of time. Although Americans are known for their unlimited compassion, we do not have unlimited resources for everyone seeking entry into our nation. Since pledging to “secure our border and fix our immigration system” during his 2022 State of the Union address, the border has become less secure and illegal immigration has increased.
In our positions as state attorneys general, we know that law enforcement officers are inadequately equipped to protect our residents from such a sudden and extreme increase in crime. It’s no secret that violent crime and property crime are skyrocketing across the country. The situation is frustrated and complicated by the fact that the administration has virtually no vetting process to prevent criminals from crossing the border. It gets worse. In less than a month in 2023, the Department of Homeland Security released more than 500 illegal immigrant offenders back into the communities where they were first detained. That’s on top of nearly 1,000 illegal immigrant convictions released by DHS in December.
Murders, assaults, domestic violence, sex crimes and other crimes committed by illegal immigrants rose dramatically between 2020 and 2021, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
We also know that the fentanyl crisis is being fueled by the unfettered flow of Chinese-made chemicals into Mexican drug cartels, and then the unfettered smuggling of Mexican-made fentanyl across the US border. Biden and his administration have taken it. Instead, the federal government is directing overworked Border Patrol agents away from drug enforcement at the border, preferring to crack down on illegal immigrants.
Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams of the drug can be potentially fatal to anyone without tolerance. In 2022, more than 110,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, with more than 68 percent of those deaths attributable to fentanyl. For perspective, the number of people who have died from drug overdoses could fill the Alabama Crimson Tide football home, Bryant-Denny Stadium, and still have enough people to fill the Alabama Crimson Tide basketball home, Coleman Coliseum. are left half capacity.
Alabama’s Jefferson County alone reported 316 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2021, a 68 percent increase from 2020, with more people dying from fentanyl than homicides or motor vehicle accidents. Statewide, the problem is worse. From 2020 to 2021, fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Alabama increased 136 percent.
In Montana, fentanyl-related overdoses have increased more than 1,000 percent since 2017. Between January 11th and 23rd of this year alone, 28 non-fatal and 8 fatal fentanyl overdoses were reported in 13 different Montana counties.
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Opioid addiction and overdose is not a “white thing,” as some have described it. In fact, in recent years, the rate of overdose deaths among Native Americans has been the highest of all ethnic groups in Montana, and the increase in overdose deaths among African Americans has been the highest of all ethnic groups in Alabama. has happened Far from being unique to our states, such situations are representative of trends being observed across the country.
It seems that President Biden would like to pretend that all these tragedies aren’t happening, and that he and his policy priorities aren’t causing or exacerbating them. Given how much he loves President Reagan’s phrase about the nation being strong, he should try to hear the other half: “The state of our Union is strong,” Reagan said, “but our The economy is troubled.”
A strong, courageous leader is eager to acknowledge and then deal with difficult realities, such as a struggling economy, or a border crisis, or skyrocketing crime, or a drug epidemic. A weak, cowardly leader is content to repeat self-indulgent fiction about the world being great, when in reality, it is falling apart around him.
Ladies and gentlemen, our president is in a weak state.
Austin Knudsen, vice chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, is the attorney general of Montana.
Click here for more from Steve Marshall.
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