As America’s open border with Mexico continues to see unprecedented levels of illegal immigration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data cited in a congressional report show fentanyl overdose has become the leading cause of death among American adults age 18-45.
In 2021, nearly 108,000 people died of drug overdoses, and 71,000 of those deaths were attributed to fentanyl or fentanyl-related substances, according to a report from members of the U.S. Energy and Commerce Committee.
The dangerous drug is largely manufactured in Mexico, using precursor chemicals from China, before it is illegally trafficked across the southern border, according to the report.
The report also shows that online sales through websites and various social media platforms have spiked in recent years, with younger Americans heavily affected.
“Illicit fentanyl overdose deaths among teens accounted for 77% of adolescent overdose deaths in 2021,” the report states.
“Illicit fentanyl overdoses are now the number one cause of death among adults 18-45 – more than COVID-19, cancer, heart disease, and all other accidents.”
Federal authorities reported 164,837 encounters with illegal border crossers in October, down from an all-time high of 241,136 in May.
Although these encounters often allow agents to intervene and prevent drug trafficking operations, the high number of migrant crossings also means resources are stretched thin and more traffickers slip through the cracks.
National media today reports indicated the Biden administration is preparing for yet another surge in border crossings, potentially as large as 14,000 crossings per day.
Despite the current crisis, Biden is pushing forward with an end to a policy imposed by former President Donald Trump that expedited the rapid expulsion of attempted illegal immigrants.
The “Title 42 policy” will end on Dec. 21 unless the Biden administration changes course or is blocked by judicial action.
The volume of border crossings is so high that some in the White House have begun circulating a draft rule that would impose a temporary ban on all new applications for asylum.
Rule changes to the asylum applications process could have a major impact on thousands of individuals and families in Maine who have requested or who intend to request refugee status.