By Bethany Blankley (The Center Square)
Sheriffs nationwide are calling on government leaders to demand that President Joe Biden, members of Congress and other elected officials do whatever it takes to “eradicate” two Mexican cartels responsible for unprecedented volumes of fentanyl pouring into the U.S.: the Sinaloa and the Jalisco New Generation Cartels (JNGC).
The American Sheriff Alliance includes sheriffs represented by the National Sheriff’s Association, Western States Sheriff’s Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, Southwestern Border Sheriffs’ Coalition, and Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition. They issued a statement “imploring the public to demand their elected officials use every available sanction and accountability tools at their disposal in combating the atrocities committed against our country and its citizens.”
They did so as 22 attorneys general have called on Biden to designate the two cartels as foreign terrorist organizations after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott did so last September. Other governors have yet to follow his lead.
The sheriffs argue the cartels have caused the deaths of 35 times more Americans than those killed by terrorists on 9/11, citing over 100,000 Americans who’ve died from opioid poisonings, including fentanyl, in one year’s time. The opioid and fentanyl crisis, they argue, “has caused 35 more times the amount of death to American citizens in a one-year period than was inflicted upon the U.S. on September 11th by Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.”
“Despite the incredible number of deaths, which can be directly attributed to the trafficking of illegal narcotics into the United States by the Mexican Cartels, there has been little call to action or change in foreign policy to address this alarming issue,” they said.
Related: Texas Sheriff Testifies To Record Number Of Dead Bodies Recovered In His Rural County
The Sinaloa and JNGC cartels oversee sophisticated transnational criminal operations “fueled by fear, terror, intimidation, extortion, and murder,” the sheriffs argue, and are “directly responsible for the increases in deaths, human trafficking, sex trafficking, and unprecedented violence occurring in cities and counties across our nation.”
These cartels aren’t just operating at the southern border, the sheriffs argue, “their influence can also be felt across our northern border and maritime borders as they seek to exploit all avenues to deliver lethal narcotics and violent criminals into our communities.”
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President of the National Sheriffs’ Association, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, Sheriff Greg Champagne, said, “We can no longer allow these murderers to terrorize our communities. We need every American to join us in demanding our government focus on this crisis and take whatever actions are necessary to eliminate these criminal networks and operations.”
Santa Barbara County, California, sheriff and vice president of the Major County Sheriffs of America, Bill Brown, emphasized, “This is not a partisan issue. This is a life-and-death issue.”
Brown, like Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, argues America’s foreign policy with Mexico must change. She called on the president to hold the Mexican government accountable when Biden met with the Mexican president in January and received no response.
“The federal government must put greater pressure on the Mexican government to take aggressive action to disrupt and destroy these unlawful cartels,” Brown said. “The current situation is intolerable and cannot stand.”
Western States Sheriffs’ Association president and Grand County, Colorado, Sheriff Brett Schroetlin also reiterated that the cartels aren’t solely operating in Mexico – they “are operating in every part of our nation. It’s not an urban, suburban, or rural issue.”
He also points out that their network is so extensive and well-financed that cartels “kill, enslave, and destroy families and communities” not just in Mexico but also in the U.S.
“We need the people of the United States to demand that our government commit the necessary resources to eliminate these organizations here and abroad as they did following the horrific events of 9/11,” he said.
Related: Senators Call On Mexico, China To Do More To Stop Illicit Fentanyl Trafficking
Chairman of the Southwestern Border Sheriffs’ Coalition, Hidalgo County, Texas, Sheriff Eddie Guerra said fighting the cartels isn’t an immigration issue, it’s “a public safety and public health issue.”
“It’s not just the violence and drugs, it’s the sexual assaults, human trafficking, enslavement, and fear and terror that are destroying neighborhoods here in the United States,” he added.
Chairman of the Texas Border Sheriffs’ Coalition, Zavala County, Texas, Sheriff Eusevio Salinas, said, “Americans can save lives” by calling on the president and members of Congress to demand “immediate, comprehensive action to identify and destroy these criminal operations, wherever they may exist.
“Until our elected officials stand up to fight this epidemic sweeping the nation, we will continue to set records related to the number of our loved ones we continue to lose each year at the hand of these violent cartels.”
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.