When Barack Obama was elected, the self-delusional rationalization from many who opposed his policies and world-view was “well, how much damage can he do?”
The answer turned out to be: plenty.
But there’s one aspect of the havoc he wrought that’s more nebulous than the apparently un-repealable ACA, regulatory overreach, or the raging bonfire that is the post-Obama Middle East.
It’s a change in attitude and culture among the media, elites and the left especially when it comes to border security and immigration policy. You need look no further than the kerfuffle over the non-muslim ban to see what I mean.
As recently as 2006 Hillary Clinton was discussing the importance of border security including “physical barriers if necessary in some places” and deporting illegal aliens who had committed crimes in America. If you can stomach any more of Ms. Pantsuit, the clip is here:
Spoiler alert: she also favors “comprehensive immigration reform” which is code words for amnesty. But hey, that’s the Democratic standard bearer coming out in favor of deporting criminal aliens. Even during the 2016 campaign she kept talking about how important border security was.
Yet now with Trump in office the very notion of taking the obviously common sense action of enforcing the immigration laws on the books has become intolerable. Leftists are shrieking. The media is freaking. Illegal aliens are rushing to Canada to escape the coming crack down. A woman in Arizona convicted of an identity theft crime that would land you or me in jail is getting sobbing, sympathetic coverage in the media because she’s being deported. Not thrown in jail, just sent home.
Under Obama, the argument moved so far to the left that among the media and elites you aren’t even allowed to talk about enforcing immigration law anymore, less you be branded a racist Hitler wannabe who probably kicks puppies.
Even on the right (National Review, I’m talking to you) we’ve heard some handwringing about how the wall and new enforcement of immigration laws are damaging relations with our “friend” to the south.
But in all this hue and cry, there’s one aspect of illegal immigration leftists or Republican elites never want to touch, but Trump shouted from the mountaintop: illegal immigrants kill Americans. How many we don’t know because apparently the government doesn’t keep tabs on such things.
But we have all heard example after example of innocent Americans killed by someone in this country illegally, whether through outright murder or a drunken driving accident. It’s darkly ironic that Hollywood is such a supporter of illegal immigrant rights when one of their own, actress, writer and director Adrien Shelly was murdered in cold blood by an illegal immigrant.
But there’s another issue at work here, a facet of an open border and it’s deadly effect on America that we do have hard numbers on. It’s a point Trump hammered on the campaign as well as a point roundly ignored by the media.
Drugs. The drugs flooding over the southern border. Specifically heroin. Just take a look at this graph of heroin overdose deaths:
Notice anything? Two years into the Obama administration and heroin overdose deaths skyrocket.
In 2008 there were 0.98 heroin overdose deaths per 100,000 persons. In 2015 the rate was 4.05 per 100,000, a 300% increase. More people died of heroin overdose in 2015 than were killed in firearm homicides. The final tally for 2015 was 12,989 deaths from heroin overdose.
Libertarians often take a free market approach to drug use, declaring that one becomes an addict of their own free will and therefore overdose deaths need to be blamed on the addict, not any outside agency.
Well, it’s not that simple. I have tremendous experience on this issue. In my day job, I work in the video business. A lot of the work I do is in the educational video field where drug abuse is a common topic. So I’ve filmed hundreds of hours of expert interviews on the subject and met dozens of addicts.
And on a personal note, I’ve lost people close to me to heroin overdose. Trust me, it’s as awful as you imagine it might be.
The libertarian argument fails because of the effect heroin has on brain chemistry. Heroin, especially modern, more powerful heroin that is often cut wth fentanyl, is as close to instantly addicting as any drug can be. This effect is magnified for the many addicts who have turned to the drug as a way dealing with chronic depression.
Humans can be weak. And it just takes just a few moments of weakness for the drug to do it’s damage and enslave the user. This isn’t a matter of political philosophy or “willpower,” it’s a matter of biology.
And it’s a matter of economics, heroin dealers often give their first “taste” for free to hook the customer. Kicking the habit is a long, costly, enormously difficult and often futile proposition.
So what does this have to do with border security?
Like many, I once assumed that heroin came from Asia, from poppies grown in Afghanistan. So it was quite a surprise to discover that most Obama-age heroin is produced in Mexico and South America and brought into America across our porous southern border.
From the 2015 DEA National Drug Threat Assessment:
“Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group can challenge them in the near term. These Mexican poly-drug organizations traffic heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana throughout the United States, using established transportation routes and distribution networks.”
From a Fox News article dated September 16, 2015: “David Ward, director of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, told Brian Kilmeade on “Fox and Friends” that drug cartels will charge a “fee” for helping illegal immigrants cross the U.S.-Mexico border. He explained that “fee” will often be carrying a backpack full of heroin into the U.S.
“The cartels have taken advantage of our southern border and have exploited our weak security,” Ward said. “And in the process of bringing heroin in, they’ve set up, throughout the United States, distribution points in our major cities, which happen to be sanctuary cities.”
From a 2010 report by the Justice Department and the National Drug Intelligence Center: “Most illicit drugs available in the United States and thousands of illegal immigrants are smuggled into the United States across the nearly 2,000-mile Southwest Border…”
You’d have to have been asleep the last eight years not to have heard the cries from the Border Patrol about how they’ve been handcuffed in their efforts to secure the southern border. Add to that the release of thousand of criminal illegals, the refusal to crack down on sanctuary cities, and the latest move to release “non-violent drug offenders” from jail and the correlation between heroin deaths and Obama’s presidency finds its causation.
Not that this is all Obama’s fault, establishment Republicans who have been just as big cheerleaders for open borders are also to blame.
The heroin epidemic is real, and it infects nearly every community in America, including so-called “safe” suburbs. The easy and cheap availability of heroin is directly attributable to policy decisions made by the Obama administration.
Surly some of the nearly 13,000 heroin deaths in 2015 could have been avoided if the drug hadn’t been available for $10 a pop on every street corner in America. The numbers don’t lie. A 300% increase in overdose in a mere six years is not something you can easily ignore.
While the Obama administration called for more government spending, surprise surprise, on treatment, they never said a word about the border. They never said a word about how their open border policies were enabling the very addicts they supposedly were so eager to help. And treatment is not a cure-all. Shutting off the supply of the drug so it’s harder for people to become addicts in the first place is better.
But you never heard that from Obama because a secure border makes it harder too import future Democrat voters. But you heard it from Trump. And I’m convinced it’s one of the reasons he won.
And he’s right. Build the wall, the fence, fly the drones, deploy more agents and the National Guard if necessary, and arrest and deport all illegal aliens with criminal records, especially those who’ve been caught working in the drug trade.
No, you’ll never stop all the drugs coming in, but by making it harder for our “friends” in Mexico to move their poison into America you’ll cut the supply. Cutting the supply raises the price. Higher prices mean less access which means less addicts. Don’t believe me? Look at the left side of that overdose death chart above. Those are the terrible but yet much lower numbers before Obama and his heinous open border policies.
Less addicts means less overdose deaths. Because, to put it bluntly, if you support an open southern border, then you’re also supporting heroin importation, addiction, and death.
It’s been said that good walls make good neighbors. But a secure border and sane immigration policy can also save lives. That right there is enough of a reason to get serious about the criminal illegals in our midst.
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College liberal turned conservative once he started paying taxes, Matthew has been active in the gun-rights and conservative movement for years. The author of the thriller Waypoint, (available on Amazon) he’s proud to live in the one county in downstate New York which went for Trump by 17 points.