This week’s visit to Mexico marked a potentially decisive step in the ongoing struggle to confront the influx of illicit drugs and people entering the United States illegally. Led by Senator John Cornyn, the bipartisan congressional delegation included Representatives Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, and Tony Gonzales, R-San Antonio. The team sought to make progress on the nationwide crisis of illegal drug trafficking and immigration.
The meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was a success, with the leader agreeing to intensify the efforts to prevent the deadly drug fentanyl from entering the United States. This is an essential step in addressing the soaring drug overdose rates across the country, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting more than 100,000 overdose deaths in 2020.
Senators Cornyn and Ted Cruz then proceeded to Capitol Hill to grill Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on the influx of undocumented immigrants and the mounting drug overdose crisis. The public exchange was built on an air of tension, with Cornyn telling Mayorkas, “Well, you haven’t been fired, you should be fired. But haven’t been fired because you’ve been carrying out policies of the Biden administration.” Cruz followed with a demand for Mayorkas’ resignation. The Secretary of Homeland Security remained resolute and assured the senators that he was “bringing unprecedented force to the fight against the drug traffickers.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection records indicate that over the past two fiscal years, more than 3.3 million people have been encountered or found at the Southern border. In the face of this daunting challenge, Senator Cornyn sees the House of Representatives as the initiator of any potential agreement. He hopes that the House Republican majority will act swiftly but recognizes that it may take a few more months to make any changes.
The bipartisan congressional delegation’s visit to Mexico is a strong sign that both parties are committed to finding a solution to the illegal immigration and drug overdose crises. With the Mexican President agreeing to take greater steps to prevent the influx of fentanyl and the House of Representatives poised to take action, this could be the beginning of the much-needed progress that the United States has been yearning for.