As Congress continues to debate the future of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s policy of mandatory drug testing for illegal immigrants, a new report from the Cato Institute shows the drug warriors still stand by their position that the border is a safe haven.
The Cato Institute report, “Taken in the Presence of Border Police,” argues that the current approach to the border, including the militarization of the US Customs and Border Protection force, has contributed to the rise of the opioid crisis and a sharp increase in drug overdoses.
“The problem with this approach is that it’s not working,” said Cato Institute senior fellow Jason Richwine, who authored the report.
“It’s not helping the drug problem, it’s making it worse.
This is a problem that has to be fixed.”
The Cato report argues that mandatory drug tests and enforcement are a bad idea that are likely to worsen the problem of drug abuse in the US.
“There are now almost a million Americans who are addicted to opioids,” said Richwine.
“More than half of those are from Mexico.
Most of the people who are using opioids are not legal immigrants.
They are here illegally.”
It’s important to note that the authors did not directly address the use of immigration enforcement on the border.
Instead, they looked at a number of different border control measures, including checkpoints, enhanced screening, and more intensive training for border agents.
It’s not the first time the US has tried to tackle the drug crisis.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would give US border agents new powers to enforce federal laws against illegal immigrants.
The policy, known as 287(g), would allow agents to issue citations for minor infractions like trespassing, failure to obey orders, and failing to identify themselves.
The move, which was opposed by many in the anti-immigrant right, sparked criticism from many on the left, who called it a “slap in the face” to immigrants.
A 2016 report from Migration Policy Institute (MPI) found that a quarter of US residents said they have used heroin or cocaine at some point in their lives, with one in five saying they had at least one heroin or drug related arrest.
The report noted that the Obama administration had taken steps to address the opioid epidemic, including by increasing access to treatment and drug testing.
But that hasn’t changed the drug war mentality, which has led to increased militarization on the US-Mexico border.
And now, with a new administration under Trump, things are even worse.
In a recent statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that he was committed to “putting a stop to the drug cartels’ violence.”
But, as the Cato report shows, that plan may not be enough to stop the tide of illegal immigration.
“For years, President Trump has called for a border wall to keep drugs out of the United States,” said Dr. David D’Alessandro, senior director of the drug policy program at the Cato institute.
“This policy proposal is a further step in that direction, but it’s unlikely to stop it.”
A few years ago, the US Border Patrol estimated that in addition to taking drugs into the US, illegal immigrants had killed nearly 3,000 people since 2006.
“In the last two years, we’ve seen a number the number of illegal aliens killed in the United State.
The border is the gateway to more deaths,” said D’Asaro.
“If we don’t get a solution in place, more deaths will continue.”