More than a dozen Republican states sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken Wednesday urging them to designate the Mexican cartels foreign terrorist organizations.
The attorneys general, which include Virginia’s Jason Miyares and Texas’ Ken Paxton, cite the surge in fentanyl-related deaths for the designation. More than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021, more than 70,000 of which are mainly due to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mexican cartels produce illicit fentanyl using precursor chemicals made in China, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“To date, no action has been taken. The same cartels who produce and traffic this dangerous chemical are also assassinating rivals and government officials, ambushing, and killing Americans at the border, and engaging in an armed insurgency against the Mexican government.9 This dangerous terrorist activity occurring at our border will not abate unless we escalate our response,” the states wrote.
“Drug overdoses have killed more than 100,000 Americans over the past year. Sixty-six percent of those deaths were related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. I write to ask you to exercise power conferred on you by Congress to take swift and decisive action to abate this deadly scourge. The cause of this scourge is well known,” the Republican states wrote.
“The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that Mexican drug cartels, including the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), import dangerous raw materials from China, use them to produce deadly synthetic opioids at low cost, and unlawfully transport those opioids into the United States,” they added.
Neither the White House nor the State Department responded to requests for comment.
However, President Joe Biden discussed the topic during his State of the Union Tuesday.
“Let’s launch a major surge to stop fentanyl production, sale, and trafficking, with more drug detection machines to inspect cargo and stop pills and powder at the border,” Biden said Tuesday. “Working with couriers like FedEx to inspect more packages for drugs. Strong penalties to crack down on fentanyl trafficking,” Biden said.
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