Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed suit against the Biden administration Thursday for its failure to prevent fentanyl from crossing the southern border.
Morrisey’s suit requests that the courts force the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to reconsider their repeal of the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Morrisey that the secretary failed to consider how ending MPP would exacerbate the problem of fentanyl overdoses in West Virginia.
#BREAKING: WV AG Sues Biden Admin To Stop Fentanyl Trafficking
Read more at https://t.co/j8p9uztLHn.
— WV Attorney General (@WestVirginiaAG) August 19, 2021
“Ending the Remain in Mexico policy will undoubtedly lead to an increase in illegal drug trafficking and thus senseless deaths from fentanyl,” Morrisey said. “I’ve long believed that a lawsuit should not be necessary to force the government to secure our southern border. We spoke out two months ago, yet the administration has failed to respond to our concerns. The border is more porous than ever. In the face of such silence and inaction, and because so many lives are at stake, litigation is the only remedy left to West Virginia.”
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents seized over 1,000 pounds of fentanyl at the southern border for the first month ever in June. Fentanyl seizures are on pace to more than double from fiscal year 2020 to fiscal year 2021, according to CBP data. A Houston Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chief told the Daily Caller News Foundation in July that Mexican cartels are doing “anything and everything” they can to push drugs, including fentanyl, across the border. (RELATED: Drug Exec Who Called Opioid Addicts ‘Pillbillies’ Won’t Be Disciplined, Company Says)
Fentanyl seizures at the border have surged by over 4,000% since 2018. Texas and Missouri previously sued the Biden administration over ending MPP, but those lawsuits focused on the alleged influx of criminals crossing the border, not deadly drugs. (RELATED: Former Head Of OxyContin Giant Purdue Pharma Flat-Out Denies Fault Or Blame In Opioid Crisis)
Fentanyl has been a key driver in the opioid crisis that has claimed thousands of American lives. Overdose-induced deaths hit a record-high in 2020, and a number of states have successfully sued some of America’s biggest pharmaceutical distributors over the role they’ve played in pushing opioids onto vulnerable communities.