Covering the Land of Lincoln

Fentanyl smuggling done by US Citizens, not immigrants or asylum seekers

In the ongoing public debate about the immigration crisis, there has been a lot of discussion about whether immigrants and asylum seekers are smuggling Fentanyl into the United States. However, evidence suggests that these two demographics are not actually a major source of Fentanyl smuggling. Studies have found that much smuggled Fentanyl enters through international mail, with very little evidence to suggest immigrants and asylum seekers are implicated in this activity. The government exacerbated the problem by banning most legal cross border traffic in 2020 and 2021, accelerating a switch to fentanyl (the easiest‐​to‐​conceal drug).Furthermore, most immigrants who cross borders do so legally, making it extremely unlikely they would be complicit in such illegal activities. As such, it is inaccurate to suggest immigration is driving the influx of Fentanyl into the U.S., and politicians should instead focus on cracking down on drug traffickers using international mail services as their mode of transportation.

 

•The Trump administration’s restrictions on travel to the United States led to an increase in fentanyl smuggling, as drug traffickers took advantage of the reduced opportunities to traffic drugs at ports of entry.
• The increased reliance on fentanyl has resulted in a sharp increase in fentanyl-related deaths.
• Asylum seekers are not responsible for the increase in fentanyl smuggling, and aggressive drug interdiction efforts are likely to make the problem worse.

•Fentanyl is primarily smuggled by U.S. citizens, who make up the vast majority of those convicted of fentanyl trafficking each year.
• Fentanyl is mostly brought through legal crossing points, as it is much easier to conceal among legal travelers and goods than to smuggle across the border illegally.
• The government’s ban on most travel and asylum has backfired, quadrupling seizures of fentanyl at ports of entry and leading to nearly double the annual deaths from fentanyl since 2019.

Learn more: Fetanyl smuggling Statistical resource here

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