National Security

EXCLUSIVE: GOP Senate Candidate Matt Dolan Outlines ‘Eye-Opening’ Trip To View Border Crisis

Photo courtesy of Dolan for Ohio

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republican Ohio Senate candidate Matt Dolan is urging Congress and the executive branch to target Mexican drug cartels and their Chinese suppliers to staunch the flow of drugs across the U.S.’s southern border.

The only declared challenger to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, Dolan recently visited Arizona to meet with federal agents and observe their efforts to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking. The state senator observed illegal border crossings during the trip, he told the Daily Caller in an exclusive interview, and rode along with agents as they seized an abandoned car filled with narcotics. Dolan emphasized the nationwide impact of illegal immigration and drug trafficking, while blasting Brown and the Biden administration for ignoring the issue.

Dolan told the Daily Caller that he is supportive of Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s Authorized Use of Military Force against the drug cartels, although he described it as only one part of a broader strategy to combat trafficking.

Photo courtesy of Dolan for Ohio

“It’s starting in China. China is shipping the fentanyl to Mexico, and the drug cartels are shipping it into our country. So we have to recognize that China is playing a big part in this. In addition, you can’t just go into a country and then bomb. We have to stand strong against Mexico. We’re going to have to recognize that the Mexican government needs to help us. So if we have to curb trade, we have to curb our aid, we have to get them to say ‘enough is enough. We’re going to work with the U.S. to drive these cartels out,'” he said.

Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has repeatedly feuded with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham over the South Carolinian’s description of Mexico as a narco-state. Lopez Obrador said in March that he would start an “information campaign” urging Hispanics in the U.S. to vote for Democrats. He tweeted Saturday that the U.S. is “sad and decadent,” while asserting that Mexico is not responsible for the fentanyl crisis.

Law enforcement officers agree, however, that Mexican drug cartels bear primary responsibility for the U.S.’s thousands of drug overdose deaths. (RELATED: Parents Of Fentanyl Victims Urge Whole-Of-Government Response To ‘Red, White, And Blue Crisis’)

“When you talk to any law enforcement officer in Ohio, the amount of fentanyl and human trafficking that’s occurring in our state is a direct result of open borders,” Dolan said, while accusing Democrats of not taking the issue seriously.

“Sherrod Brown wants to call the border a ‘far-right’ issue, and he clearly is not recognizing that his and the Biden administration’s policies have stopped the building of the wall, and stopped the increase of technology to help Border Patrol, and stopped giving Border Patrol the necessary tools and authority to act, to have these immigrants returned to their country. And we have no relationship with Mexico and no standing up to Mexico or any other countries to get them to act with us,” he continued.

Numerous Republican elected officials and candidates have visited the southern border, including Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. The House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing at the border featuring Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, although no Democratic members participated. President Joe Biden assigned Vice President Kamala Harris the immigration crisis as part of her policy portfolio in March 2021, although she has only visited the border once and has not seen any of the U.S.’s migrant processing facilities.

“We saw firsthand the dangers. This morning we saw one guy jump the fence and come into our country,” Dolan said, describing the trip as “eye-opening.”

“They’re coming into our country, and if you talk to law enforcement officers, they’re coming into our country with ill intent. Certainly the folks in Arizona, they’re coming in with drugs,” he continued. “Fentanyl and meth are coming through the Arizona border.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have seized 11,000 pounds of fentanyl in fiscal year 2023, a total that is on pace to break the record 14,700 pounds seized in FY2022. Two milligrams of fentanyl is enough to kill a single adult. CBP has seized over 59,000 pounds of methamphetamine in FY2023, down from 175,140 pounds in FY2022.

Dolan noted that even economic migrants end up contributing to the drug trafficking crisis. Human smuggling is a more than $13 billion business for cartels, The New York Times reported in 2022. Victims become “slaves to the cartels, because the cartels charge them money to come in, and they have a whole system. They’re shipped out to the entire country, and they’re working for the cartels. Any money they do make is sent back to the cartels,” Dolan said.