Containing the Drug Cartels

Article author: 
Jake Kiernan, The American Affairs Journal
Article publisher: 
American Renaissance
Article date: 
November 19, 2019
Article category: 
Our American Future
Medium
Article Body: 

... The U.S.-Mexico border is also a gateway through which drugs, weapons, cartel operatives, and a variety of desperate people pass — one of the most pivotal drug trafficking points in the world....

But the sheer volume of lethal street drugs is worth contemplating in light of these trends — with the number of deadly drug overdoses in 2016 heavily dominated by fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and meth.
 
These deaths are ultimately facilitated by a squalid and violent network that stretches back across the southern border: 80–95 percent of U.S. street drugs are coming through Mexico. The State Department has recently tabulated that 90–94 percent of the heroin in the United States comes from Mexico, even if originally sourced from other countries.... 80 percent of crystal meth is from Mexico. For cocaine, 90 percent comes from Mexico....
 
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that supply and price dynamics have heavily driven the heroin explosion: “The increased availability of heroin, its relatively low price (compared to prescription opioids), and high purity appear to be major drivers of the upward trend in heroin use, overdoses, and deaths.”....

The border force has stated that over half of the southern border is not under U.S. operational control, and this gap constitutes an open invitation for exploitation. Of the roughly two-thousand-mile border, only 873 miles are deemed to be under U.S. operational control (defined as areas in which the Border Control has the ability to “detect, respond, and interdict illegal activity at the border or after entry”) by the U.S. Government Accountability Office....

Israel boasts of the decisive impact of its 420-mile multistage deterrent against the West Bank, including fencing, ditches, and a proper wall. Hungary also found unequivocal success with its more straightforward razor-wire fencing, established in 2015 as a defiant response to the European migrant crisis and the EU’s failure to address it meaningfully...

... there is a robust and replaceable population of willing pawns to put the drugs directly into the hands of users, and blasting money and law enforcement resources at arresting them will have little effect on the overarching distribution apparatus that is now in place. A wall, however, may disrupt more centralized pathways for the drugs and provide better monitoring against the cartel figures who have been infiltrating the United States....

[Legislators]  they should ask whether it might be more cost-effective to stop criminals at the border rather than trying to address the damage done in the interior of the country.