VIDEO: During Senate Hearing, Rosen Highlights Need to Improve Resources to Fight Fentanyl Smuggling at Southern Border

Senator Rosen Asked Secretary Mayorkas About Additional Resources Needed To Prevent Fentanyl From Being Smuggled Into The United States

View/Download Video of Senator Rosen’s Questions HERE 

WASHINGTON DC – During a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) asked Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas about additional resources the department needs to prevent fentanyl from being smuggled at ports of entry at the southwest border. During her remarks, Senator Rosen emphasized the staggering number of Nevadans who died from opioid overdose in 2021. Earlier this month, she joined several of her colleagues in urging President Biden to allocate additional funds and resources to secure the border in order to end the flow of fentanyl.

Below is an excerpt of the exchange: 

ROSEN: Fentanyl is destroying communities across the country. Nevada – no exception. According to the CDC, we lost a staggering 949 Nevadans to opioid overdose deaths in 2021 alone, and the problem only continues to get worse. As I’ve stated before, stopping the influx of these deadly drugs starts by strengthening our border security through a significant increase in resources. That’s why, earlier this month, I joined with several of my colleagues in urging President Biden to allocate additional funds and resources to end the flow of fentanyl at our southwest border. 

Mr. Secretary, as the Senate considers the administration’s supplemental funding request and looks to prioritize what is most critical for that package, what additional resources can Congress allocate to DHS specifically to strengthen your ability, the department’s ability, to detect and intercept fentanyl at our ports of entry, so we can address the worsening crisis? 

MAYORKAS: Thank you very much, Senator. The scourge of fentanyl has been building year over year for more than five years. We have sought in the supplemental funding request additional resources for the Department of Homeland Security to combat the fentanyl epidemic. Specifically, we have sought approximately $850 million for enhanced technology, our non-intrusive inspection technology. 

We have also sought funds for additional officers so that they can deploy to the ports of entry where the predominant amount of fentanyl is smuggled through passenger vehicles and commercial drugs so that we can interdict more of the fentanyl. We are accomplishing that at an unprecedented level because of the incredible personnel that we have and the strategies that we are employing to maximize results.