National Security

‘Please Don’t Think For Me’: Mom Who Lost Daughter To Fentanyl Hits Back At Dem Rep Who Said She Was ‘Used’ By GOP

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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A mother who lost her daughter to fentanyl responded to Democratic New York Rep. Dan Goldman for lecturing her during a House Homeland Security hearing on Thursday, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation Friday.

Josephine Dunn lost her daughter Ashley to a fentanyl-laced pill at the age of 26, and she testified to the committee as part of a hearing titled “Voices for the Victims: The Heartbreaking Reality of the Mayorkas Border Crisis” on the impeachment proceedings into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. During the hearing, Goldman told Dunn that she was being “used” by Republicans on the committee, adding that she didn’t “have the background to understand what a high crime and misdemeanor is and how it relates to this.” (RELATED: Moms Testify That The Biden Admin Is To Blame For Their Daughters’ Deaths To Fentanyl, MS-13 Killer)

“He’s unaware about what my understanding, about what my education, what my experience is in any of those areas when it comes to misdemeanors or high crimes,” Dunn told the DCNF.

“I have my opinions and for him to assume that I want to just put more money into a system that has had plenty of money placed into it and is still broken is incorrect. Please don’t think for me, I have a brain I can think and speak for myself,” Dunn said.

During the hearing, Goldman accused Dunn of being unqualified to testify as part of the impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas.

“I want to apologize in some ways to you that you are here, really to share your story, but being used as a fact witness for an impeachment investigation,” Goldman told Dunn. “And obviously given what your experience has been, you don’t have the background to understand what a high crime and misdemeanor is and how it relates to this. So I hope that you’re handling that okay.”

“You would agree, would you not, that it would help to stop the fentanyl trade and fentanyl trafficking from coming into this country if we had more law enforcement officers at the border and more resources and technology to stop the fentanyl from coming in?” he asked Dunn. “Do you agree with that?”

Dunn disagreed “because border patrol is now being used to make sandwiches and to screen people and let them into our country,” adding “I would like the border patrol to be able to do the job that they were hired to do. Every border patrol officer that I have spoken to has told me that their hands are tied by this administration and Mr. Mayorkas. I’ve been to the border, sir, have you?”

Dunn also wrote on her Facebook page Thursday that she came to Congress to share Ashley’s story.

“Pardon me sir, but you know nothing of my experience, my background or my understanding. Also in all of my research you have yet to travel once to the Southern Border of the United States. Is that why you avoided my question?” she wrote.

“Are you unable to return to your constituency and explain your lack of understanding of the border, lack of experience at the border or was it something else? I would think you could have heard what I actually said. NOT what you wanted me to say,” she added.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized roughly 26,700 pounds of fentanyl in fiscal year 2023, compared to roughly 14,100 pounds in fiscal year 2022, according to CBP data.

Fentanyl is largely responsible for the 105,263 drug deaths that occurred between February 2022 and January 2023, and is the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 49, according to the DOJ. Nearly 108,000 Americans died of overdoses in 2021, a 15% increase from 2020 after a 30% increase the year before, according to provisional data published by the CDC.

A spokesperson for Goldman didn’t respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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