Pro–open borders advocates blame stronger border for rising drug abuse

For many people, including President Trump, one of the main problems with a de facto open border has been the fact that our southern border became a highway for drug traffickers. However, those who don't like Trump's efforts to secure the border have a different take: Trump's policies increase drug use.

No one denies that America's southern border has been porous when it comes to drug-trafficking. Even left-leaning Wikipedia concedes:

Most of the U.S. imports of drugs come from Mexican drug cartels. In the United States, around 195 cities have been infiltrated by drug trafficking that originated in Mexico. An estimated $10bn of the Mexican drug cartel's profits come from the United States, not only supplying the Mexican drug cartels with the profit necessary for survival, but also furthering America's economic dependence on drugs. (Endnotes omitted.)

However, when Trump wanted to make the border less permeable, Democrats said it couldn't be done.  Nothing would stop the flow of either illegal aliens or illegal drugs.  For example, in January 2019, Vox insisted that "Trump's wall won't do anything about the opioid epidemic: Trump claims his wall will stop the flow of heroin and other illegal drugs from Mexico. He's wrong."

Just a year after Vox's pessimistic pronouncements, however, the Customs and Border Protection agency had good news about the effects of Trump's focus on securing the southern border:

CBP enforcement actions on our Southwest Border decreased by 5% in December as compared to November, representing a 72% decrease since the peak of the humanitarian and border security crisis in May.

[snip]

In December, CBP intercepted more than 93,000 pounds of drugs nationwide – a 5% increase over November. Compared to this point in the previous fiscal year, overall drug seizures are up 28%, while fentanyl seizures are up over 80% and heroin seizures are up 27%. (Emphasis added.)

We still have a significant drug problem, but the fact is that more is being stopped at the border than has been the case in the past.  In theory, that's good news, because it represents a decrease in drug usage in America (i.e., fewer available illegal opioids must lead to lower opioid abuse).

That is the type of good news the progressives cannot allow.  So, on Thursday, the Drug Policy Alliance announced that Trump's drive to control illegal immigration and drug-trafficking was actually making drug abuse worse.

If this sounds counterintuitive, you clearly lack compassion.  It turns out that Hispanic U.S. citizens find it depressing when friends and family get detained or deported for being in America illegally.  For some, their only recourse is substance abuse:

In response to a new study showing that Latinx people who know someone who has been detained or deported to be significantly more likely to experience symptoms of substance use disorder than whites, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), LatinoJustice and Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) issued the following joint statement: 

Maritza Perez, Director, Office of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance:

"This vital research highlights the fact that we need to remove drug use from the harmful and racially-enforced apparatus of the criminal justice system and instead invest in public health programs and increased access to evidence-based treatment for all. The devastating consequences of draconian immigration enforcement, of families being torn apart, have taken a heavy toll on the loved ones left behind. It is more important than ever before that we redirect our energy and resources towards health-centered approaches that address these issues before we see a new wave of casualties from not only the failed war on drugs, but also our failed immigration policies."

You'll find more at the link.

It's easy to imagine that this news will horrify progressives who believe that the southern border is inherently racist and, worse, that America sits on land stolen from indigenous people from both North and Latin America.

However, it's equally easy to imagine that communities throughout America — the ones that are seeing fewer drugs, more jobs, and less of the crime that always comes from a dispossessed underclass (which is what all illegal aliens, at all times, in all places will be) — will find it hard to dredge up sympathy for a small subset of people who handle badly the fact that the American president is finally enforcing American drug interdiction and immigration laws.

For many people, including President Trump, one of the main problems with a de facto open border has been the fact that our southern border became a highway for drug traffickers. However, those who don't like Trump's efforts to secure the border have a different take: Trump's policies increase drug use.

No one denies that America's southern border has been porous when it comes to drug-trafficking. Even left-leaning Wikipedia concedes:

Most of the U.S. imports of drugs come from Mexican drug cartels. In the United States, around 195 cities have been infiltrated by drug trafficking that originated in Mexico. An estimated $10bn of the Mexican drug cartel's profits come from the United States, not only supplying the Mexican drug cartels with the profit necessary for survival, but also furthering America's economic dependence on drugs. (Endnotes omitted.)

However, when Trump wanted to make the border less permeable, Democrats said it couldn't be done.  Nothing would stop the flow of either illegal aliens or illegal drugs.  For example, in January 2019, Vox insisted that "Trump's wall won't do anything about the opioid epidemic: Trump claims his wall will stop the flow of heroin and other illegal drugs from Mexico. He's wrong."

Just a year after Vox's pessimistic pronouncements, however, the Customs and Border Protection agency had good news about the effects of Trump's focus on securing the southern border:

CBP enforcement actions on our Southwest Border decreased by 5% in December as compared to November, representing a 72% decrease since the peak of the humanitarian and border security crisis in May.

[snip]

In December, CBP intercepted more than 93,000 pounds of drugs nationwide – a 5% increase over November. Compared to this point in the previous fiscal year, overall drug seizures are up 28%, while fentanyl seizures are up over 80% and heroin seizures are up 27%. (Emphasis added.)

We still have a significant drug problem, but the fact is that more is being stopped at the border than has been the case in the past.  In theory, that's good news, because it represents a decrease in drug usage in America (i.e., fewer available illegal opioids must lead to lower opioid abuse).

That is the type of good news the progressives cannot allow.  So, on Thursday, the Drug Policy Alliance announced that Trump's drive to control illegal immigration and drug-trafficking was actually making drug abuse worse.

If this sounds counterintuitive, you clearly lack compassion.  It turns out that Hispanic U.S. citizens find it depressing when friends and family get detained or deported for being in America illegally.  For some, their only recourse is substance abuse:

In response to a new study showing that Latinx people who know someone who has been detained or deported to be significantly more likely to experience symptoms of substance use disorder than whites, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), LatinoJustice and Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) issued the following joint statement: 

Maritza Perez, Director, Office of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance:

"This vital research highlights the fact that we need to remove drug use from the harmful and racially-enforced apparatus of the criminal justice system and instead invest in public health programs and increased access to evidence-based treatment for all. The devastating consequences of draconian immigration enforcement, of families being torn apart, have taken a heavy toll on the loved ones left behind. It is more important than ever before that we redirect our energy and resources towards health-centered approaches that address these issues before we see a new wave of casualties from not only the failed war on drugs, but also our failed immigration policies."

You'll find more at the link.

It's easy to imagine that this news will horrify progressives who believe that the southern border is inherently racist and, worse, that America sits on land stolen from indigenous people from both North and Latin America.

However, it's equally easy to imagine that communities throughout America — the ones that are seeing fewer drugs, more jobs, and less of the crime that always comes from a dispossessed underclass (which is what all illegal aliens, at all times, in all places will be) — will find it hard to dredge up sympathy for a small subset of people who handle badly the fact that the American president is finally enforcing American drug interdiction and immigration laws.