U.S. senior officials are worried that there won’t be enough Congressional funding to secure the country’s border and stop illegal narcotic smuggling, ABC News reports. At the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said his front-line officers are in dire need of more technology, manpower and the tools to improve incoming cargo detection. Southern Arizona has become a massive corridor for trafficking the synthetic opioid with nearly half of all border seizures occurring at federal checkpoints in the state. Using X-ray scanning technology, drug sniffing dogs and classic detective experience, CBP is seizing 860% more fentanyl compared to 2019.
But with more than 100,000 people dying from drug overdoses last year, officials say they believe there is more work to be done. The Biden administration has requested $14 billion from Congress for border security as part of a larger supplemental funding proposal that ties together aid for Israel and Ukraine. But Republicans are refusing to offer support unless the Biden administration can reduce the historically high levels of illegal migration seen in recent years. The Biden administration continues to walk a fraught line between tough enforcement measures at the border and providing lawful humanitarian support for migrants. Complicating the effort is the work of cartel organizations that operate internationally. The looming government shutdown is also a complication, even though much of the border work force will be required to work without pay.
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