The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.
While running for president, Joe Biden made many promises to voters. Some he has kept, some he has not.
One of the most important promises, and one that is in no way a partisan issue, was to address and end the fentanyl crisis that has been impacting the United States. Almost daily, you’ll find multiple stories in any state about fentanyl busts, overdoses, and more. It’s a crisis that has been brewing for years and, left unchecked, has created an epidemic of overdoses in the nation that Joe Biden swore he would protect from it.
On his campaign website, which is still up, Team Biden laid out his plan to address the opioid crisis, including stemming the flow of fentanyl into the country. Here’s what his “plan” included:
Make fentanyl a top priority in our dealings with China. The Treasury Department has already sanctioned a small number of Chinese nationals in connection with fentanyl – it’s a good start, but going after individuals will not alter Beijing’s thinking long-term. Biden will pressure Beijing to crack down on illicit fentanyl production in China and stem the flow of the drug into the United States. Biden will also develop regional strategies in the Asia-Pacific and the Americas to deal with shifts in the routes and sources of fentanyl in response to a Chinese crackdown.
Enhance cooperation with Mexican authorities to disrupt the movement of heroin and fentanyl across the U.S.-Mexico border. Chinese fentanyl is frequently transshipped through Mexico, and then smuggled across the border in pure form or combined with heroin. As China takes steps to police fentanyl and its precursors, production and distribution will increasingly shift to Mexico. Biden will pursue strong, sustained cooperation with Mexican authorities to disrupt suppliers and supply routes, including the importation of precursor chemicals from China. The Biden Administration will also provide technical assistance to enhance the Mexican Post Service’s (SEPOMEX) ability to detect and electronically track shipments of fentanyl and precursors that come through Mexico. As President, Biden will repair the damage to U.S.-Mexico ties inflicted by Donald Trump and develop a common agenda with Mexico that looks beyond our shared border to promote our shared prosperity and protect U.S. national security interests.
Enforce sanctions on international actors engaged in the trafficking of illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl. Biden’s Treasury Department sanctions team will map the financial institutions and networks that facilitate the distribution of fentanyl and key precursors and develop sanctions packages based on that evidence and task the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to support these efforts with a focus on illicit finance.
Not too long ago, the Washington Post laid out a damning report on the failure of the United States to properly address the crisis over the course of several presidential administrations. And, while it would not be fair to place all the blame on the Biden administration, you cannot deny that when you look at his “comprehensive plan” above, you see that he has simply refused to deal with any of it.
There’s a two-prong foreign policy approach to dealing with the fentanyl crisis, and neither of those prongs is actually on the table for the Biden administration.
The first is closing down the border we share with Mexico, which is creating an immigration crisis the Biden administration refuses to acknowledge. But the problem there is more than just illegal immigration. The drug cartels are shipping not only fentanyl but the ingredients needed to make it, across the border in droves. While U.S. border patrol agents are busy rounding up the illegal immigrants they can, the cartels are able to sneak across the supplies needed to keep the drug on the American market.
That has had disastrous consequences, as Border Patrol gets overwhelmed by immigrants, they can’t even address the drugs. The few busts they’ve been able to make have been massive, but with the shipments we do catch, how many are slipping past because of understaffed and overworked border security?
Overnight, Yuma Sector Agents encountered a migrant illegally present in the U.S. carrying 93 lbs. of Fentanyl. So far in FY23, we have seized over 476 lbs. of Fentanyl between the ports of entry along our southwest border.
That's enough to kill 100 million people.@USBPChiefYUM pic.twitter.com/3b2Vdqj5ja
— Chief Raul Ortiz (@USBPChief) February 15, 2023
The second prong of the foreign policy solution to the fentanyl crisis is working harder against Chinese drug manufacturers who are selling the chemicals needed to make the drugs to the cartels. Part of the problem with this plan is that the Biden administration has been unable to come up with a coherent foreign policy at all regarding China. On one hand, they are glad to let a Chinese spy balloon sail across the country, despite its clear threat to American sovereignty. At the same time, they are also okay with alienating China through various diplomatically tense exchanges.
Ultimately, though, China understands that we won’t be tough on them, so they have no need to rein in the drug and chemical manufacturers in their own country as those same companies sell their goods to Mexican cartels.
Because of the Biden administration’s total capitulation on both Mexico and China, the fentanyl crisis has only grown worse under his watch. And while there are plenty of activist groups willing to offer ideas and solutions, the Biden administration has been so wrapped up in focusing on Ukraine and environmentalism that very little else has actually gotten accomplished. When it comes to helping the people Joe Biden is supposed to be working for, he seems to have very little interest.