A border wall won’t stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. because most drugs are smuggled through legal ports of entry.
“According to Donald Trump’s own Drug Enforcement Administration, the most common method Mexican cartels use to transport illegal drugs over the Southwest border is through legal ports of entry using passenger vehicles,” explained senator Bernie Sanders.
When Trump made his address to the nation on January 8 about the “growing crisis” along the U.S.-Mexico border, he called it “a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs.”
One thing Trump said about the drug crisis was true: hundreds of people die of drug overdoses involving heroin every week in the U.S. and the majority of heroin is coming into the U.S. from Mexico. However, according to the DEA, the majority of the heroin, as well as other hard drugs, is being seized at legal ports of entry. That situation wouldn’t be impacted at all by building a wall along the border with Mexico.
In his bid for the wall, Trump also misleadingly cited the yearly number of drug deaths in the U.S. While those numbers are true — more than 72,000 people overdosed in 2017 — they have little to do with an argument for a wall and a large portion are attributed to prescription drugs, and many are also attributed to fentanyl, much of which comes in the mail from China.