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Crisis: Illicit Drugs Getting Through Border because of Immigration Crisis ‘Chaos’

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Just last week, 10 people died from fentanyl overdoses in Will County, Illinois in only 24 hours. The population is small, under 700,000, and the Illinois Department of Public Health said the deaths appear to be linked to a batch of cocaine laced with fentanyl.

In one day of that same week, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents seized 22 pounds of fentanyl at the Hidalgo International Bridge at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The fentanyl seizure was valued at $339,300, and was found stashed inside a vehicle “selected for inspection at the border crossing.”

“Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used medically for pain management, can be lethal in quantities as tiny as two milligrams. Illicit fentanyl is manufactured relatively cheaply by cartel labs in Mexico, often using precursor chemicals imported from China” reports The Foreign Desk.

Opioid-related deaths in America have increased dramatically every year since 2013, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted a “surge in the availability” of illicitly manufactured fentanyl. In 2017, then-President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Yet, without stemming the flow of illicit drugs across the border, the death toll continues to rise.

Overdoses of fentanyl have become the leading cause of death among adults between the ages of 18 and 45, with 41,587 individuals in that age group dying specifically from fentanyl in 2021 alone. Deaths often occur when other drugs, such as Percocet, cocaine, or Xanax are laced with or replaced by fentanyl.

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Immigration

Majority of 71,000 Ukrainians entering U.S. not using Biden’s programs

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In March, President Joe Biden announced the United States would “Welcome” roughly 100,000 Ukrainians into the country as a result of Russia’s invasion. Thus far, over 71,000 Ukrainians have entered the United States, but “most of the refugees did not come in through the programs the White House put in place” reports Newsmax.

The data comes from the Department of Homeland Security, and refugee advocates say those who have found their way here were not the result of being helped by Biden’s actions.

“The DHS data suggests that most of those who have entered the U.S. so far came on visas they held prior to the war or by crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, and not through the Biden administration’s Uniting for Ukraine web portal that allows Americans to sponsor Ukrainians they know” reports NBC News.

Only a mere “300 Ukrainians have been resettled through the traditional U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, which uses federal funds to bring in United Nations-vetted refugees and resettle them in communities with resources to help find doctors, schools, jobs and connections to their cultures.”

A large percentage have come through the southern border: “More than 22,000 have crossed over the southern border since March 24” adds NBC. Those entering through Mexico have slowed, as “that pathway has largely been shut down as the web portal launched and Ukrainians at the border started being subjected to the Covid-related public health order known as Title 42, which blocks many migrants to claim asylum.”

Specifically, “DHS said more than 15,000 Ukrainians have entered the U.S. after being approved for sponsorship online and more are expected to come as another 23,000 have been approved but not yet traveled to the U.S. Those approved are responsible for booking their own travel to the U.S.”

NBC News reports:

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, said the Biden administration is inflating the number of Ukrainians it has worked to bring in, since only 15,000 have come through the system it set up. 

“We shouldn’t count towards the 100,000 commitment those who weren’t actually processed through the Uniting for Ukraine program. I think the figures show the current ad hoc nature of the program,” said Vignarajah. “Ukrainian refugees are creatively exploring every avenue in order to seek refuge in the U.S. But we should be making it as simple and straightforward as possible.”

DHS referred NBC News to the White House National Security Council for comment.

In a statement, an NSC spokesperson said, “We are proud to be fulfilling President Biden’s commitment to welcome 100,000 displaced Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s aggression who are seeking refuge in the United States. We look forward to continuing to welcome Ukrainians to our country as we continue to take steps to support those fleeing the ongoing war.”

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