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A Pennsylvania congressman says that Chinese fentanyl flowing over the southern border in crisis is fueling the opioid epidemic in his own state.
Rep. John Joyce, R-Penn., gave his warning about the Chinese-made opioids in a Thursday phone interview with Fox News.
Joyce said the “porous southern border” is exacerbating the opioid crisis in America and that penalties “should be very strict” for drug traffickers and that they “should be held accountable.”
Rep. John Joyce, (R-PA), speaks as Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor testifies before a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting on Capitol Hill, July 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. Peter Gaynor testified on the national response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)
“Drug crimes need to be used to prosecute the traffickers, not the users,” Joyce said. “I’ve visited the border, I’ve seen the huge amounts of opioids, fentanyl-related substances, methamphetamines — I’ve seen them. The [district attorney] has shown me those that they’ve confiscated.”
“But that’s just what we catch. The amount that we don’t catch continues to pour through [the southern border],” the Pennsylvania Republican continued. “And if we make the mandatory minimum laws lower for fentanyl analogues and for other classes, then we’re going to incentivize the drug traffickers to move more fentanyl analogues through that southern border.”
Joyce also warned of China’s role in the opioid epidemic as a manufacturer of fentanyl that is pushed into America across the southern border, saying the country needs to be held to account.
“China is taking a huge role in pouring these poisons into the United States via the porous southern border. China needs to be held accountable for this,” Joyce said. “They’re utilizing the vehicles, that I’m going to identify as the drug cartels, they’re utilizing those to infiltrate into the United States and cause this crisis.”
UNITED STATES – MARCH 27: Rep. John Joyce, R-Pa., is seen on the House steps of the Capitol before the House passed a $2 trillion coronavirus aid package by voice vote on Friday, March 27, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
The Pennsylvania Republican warned that the opioid epidemic would “without a doubt” get worse amid the border crisis and called for increased funding and equipment for Border Patrol.
“We need to be able to protect the sovereignty of our country, and that’s why we’re protecting the borders. This is true with every country,” Joyce said. “Your borders and the protection of those, that’s what Congress needs to be focusing on. And yet Biden’s turning a blind eye to that.”
Joyce also took aim at Vice President Harris, torching her for relatively ignoring the crisis at the southern border that President Biden tapped her to tackle as point person.
The congressman said that the “point person should visit the border,” noting that he had traveled to the border himself and that he would “be glad to accompany the vice president to see there.”
Joyce also said that Harris should have traveled to the “hot spots” along the border.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), speaks at the podium as left to right, Reps Kevin Hern (R-OK), John Joyce (R-PA) and Ted Budd (R-NC) listen, as House Republicans discuss the Democrats spending package at the U.S. Capitol on November 2, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
“We know that there are areas that really are clearly areas she should be paying attention to, and one brief stop is not enough,” he said.
Additionally, Joyce said Harris should be focused on “the routes the cartels use” and “should be working with Congress to develop a plan to stop that, because this is a crisis.”
“And it is Biden’s border crisis, which is accentuating the opioid and the fentanyl problems we are having throughout my district,” he continued, adding that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas “needs to come and testify” in front of Congress.
Opioid usage in America has increased over the past few years as drugs funnel through the southern border.
Border security plays a key role in keeping black-market fentanyl and other dangerous drugs off the streets.
According to Customs and Border Protection data, drug seizures on the southern border have been on the decline since Biden took office.
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