Rep. Mike Collins: The Migrant Crisis is Only Half the Story at Our Southern Border

Immigrants walk through razor wire surrounding a makeshift migrant camp after crossing the border from Mexico on May 11, 2023 in El Paso, Texas. The number of immigrants reaching the border has surged with the end of the U.S. government's Covid-era Title 42 policy, which for the past three years has allowed for the quick expulsion of irregular migrants entering the country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Immigrants walk through razor wire surrounding a makeshift migrant camp after crossing the border from Mexico on May 11, 2023 in El Paso, Texas. The number of immigrants reaching the border has surged with the end of the U.S. government’s Covid-era Title 42 policy, which for the past three years has allowed for the quick expulsion of irregular migrants entering the country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

By Representative Mike Collins
July 13, 2023

(Views expressed by guest commentators may not reflect the views of OAN or its affiliates.)

Advertisement

It has been two years since Vice President Kamala Harris—aka The “Border Czar”—visited the US-Mexico border. A startling truth as reports reveal the immigration crisis taking place is the worst on US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) record.

In the last 24 months, CBP reported over 4.8 million migrant encounters with another estimated 1.2 million evading authorities altogether since January 2021. Perhaps more frightening though is the skyrocketing number of individuals on the terrorist watchlist attempting to cross the border between ports of entry. As of June 2023, 125 individuals on the watchlist have been apprehended in the fiscal year to date, a 27% increase from last year’s total of 98. It’s worth noting, this number never exceeded 16 at any point under the Trump administration.

Unfortunately, however, the migrant crisis is only half the story at our southern border.

Fentanyl, as well as other deadly substances, are being seized at record levels. In fact, CBP intercepted 20,000 pounds of fentanyl in Fiscal Year 2023 to date—a number equivalent to 4.6 billion fatal doses. This does not include dangerous, and often undetectable, opioid analogs which are rising rapidly in prevalence.

Regrettably, the Supreme Court has given the green light on the Biden administration’s lax enforcement policies after ruling in its favor in United States v. Texas. The Department of Homeland Security will now narrow the guidelines for the arrest and deportation of illegal immigrants. Under this new guidance, we could see an even larger increase in crime and fentanyl flooding into America’s communities.

This, even as synthetic opioids are devastating neighborhoods across the country.

Xylazine (‘Tranq’), a veterinary tranquilizer and fentanyl analog, is the latest venom being trafficked over our border by cartels. Tranq has become known as the ‘Zombie Drug’ for its necrotizing effects and resistance to the usual opioid overdose treatments. According to the DEA, over the past two years, the Southern and Western US have experienced an over 100% increase in Xylazine detection.

Our federal and local law enforcement officers are working themselves to the bone and receiving inadequate support from the Biden administration in return.

This is why 25 of my colleagues and I in Congress introduced the TRANQ Research Act in March.

This common-sense legislation directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology to provide up-to-date research on the detection and handling of the newest, most dangerous synthetic opioids. Detection capabilities will extend to our law enforcement and other first responders so they are better equipped to stem the flow of deadly drugs into our country.

Advertisement

The TRANQ Act proves that bipartisan solutions can be found to counter the crisis unfolding at our southern border.

Our bill has already passed through the House with a unanimous vote. When the amended TRANQ Act is returned from the Senate to the House this Congress, I urge my colleagues to once again deliver for the American people where the Biden administration has failed and protect our brave men and women of law enforcement.

Michael Allen Collins Jr. (born July 2, 1967) is an American politician and businessman serving as the U.S. representative for Georgia’s 10th congressional district since 2023. He is a member of the Republican Party.