Trump’s Border Wall and Opioid Drug Trafficking: A Fantasy that will Fail
One of the many reasons President Trump is advocating for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico is because he believes that a border wall will help stop the flow of illicit opioids into the U.S. The White House claims that the wall will keep opioids out of the U.S. Opioid addiction certainly is rampant in the U.S., and a large influx of drugs do come in from Mexico, but building an expensive border wall will not solve the problem. The opioid crisis should be tackled at its roots – starting with drug prevention programs and ending with up to date border security measures.
Border wall or no border wall – opioids are everywhere. In fact, most drugs that come from Mexico are trafficked through cars that successfully pass through legal points of entry, are cleared by border patrol, and are able to manipulate inspection regulations to get the goods through. Drug traffickers are smart and cunning. They know exactly how law enforcement works and may even have connections with law enforcement agents within the field. They are creative and come up with new ways to smuggle goods all the time. Border patrol agents need the necessary resources in order to stay ahead of traffickers. Improvements need to be made within border security and inspection techniques, not through the construction of a $5.7 billion border wall.
Regardless of any circumstances, drugs will still find a way to their destination – whether it is over the wall, under the wall, or right past the hands of border patrol agents. Even if the border wall would make issues of drug trafficking arise, manufacturers and traffickers would simply find a way to move their business into the U.S. With drug trafficking being a $360 billion trade, the traffickers aren’t going to give up that easily.
The brutal reality of drug addiction is that a person who is addicted can and will get their drugs in one way or another. The drug epidemic is a problem across the country and the majority of illicit opioid abusers begin through the use of prescription opioids. In 2017, approximately 191 million opioid prescriptions were written in the U.S. Due to the high potential of opioid dependence, many people who become addicted begin to seek out illicit opioids when prescription opioids no longer produce the desired effects. Addiction is a disease of the mind, where no matter how badly a person wants to quit, they suffer from an inability to control their drug cravings. A border wall definitely will not stop those who are suffering from addiction.
The opioid crisis cannot and will not be solved through a costly border wall. If we are to decrease the demand for opioids as well as the rates of opioid abuse in the U.S., the government should be focused on providing drug prevention education to students in school at a young age. They should be informed that more than 130 people died each day of an opioid overdose in 2018. They need to be educated on the fact that opioid dependence can develop in as little as one week of taking opioids despite the fact that the average opioid prescription contains enough medication to last a person 18 days. It is essential that Americans are educated about the gravity of the disease of addiction.
Border patrol agents in San Diego agree that funding is best spent by adding more agents to the task force and increasing their investigative work. They explain that wiretaps and paid informants are a more effective method in stopping drug trafficking as they get most results in this way. These officers add that border patrol can also be improved through better training when it comes to drug-sniffing canine ability and officer inspection training, not a border wall.