Governor Glenn Youngkin’s decision to deploy the Virginia National Guard to the southern border helps to tackle the ongoing fentanyl crisis impacting countless Virginians. With a significant increase in the flow of illegal drugs across the border, including highly lethal fentanyl, the Governor has demonstrated strong leadership by robustly responding to President Biden’s self-made border crisis.
From 2015 to 2022, the number of fatal fentanyl overdoses increased by 767.1%. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported more than 650,000 pounds of drugs seized at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2022 alone. These deadly and illegal drugs make their way into the Commonwealth, resulting in the overdoses and deaths of thousands of Virginians. On average, five Virginians lose their lives to fentanyl each day, and there is pride in knowing that Governor Youngkin will not stand for it.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott reached out to governors across the nation to join forces in combating the border crisis and the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. because he understands that protecting our nation’s southern border is a national problem, not just a Texas problem. No state is excluded from the scourge of drug trafficking. Virginia is no exception.
The Virginia National Guard has a history of being deployed to the southern border between October 2020 and September 2022, and it is honorable that these men and women will once again provide valuable support to state and federal partners engaged in curbing the humanitarian and drug crisis at the border.
The most dangerous drug crossing the southern border is fentanyl, which is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S. It is often added to other drugs for extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more addictive and more dangerous. Fentanyl is everywhere, and it is involved in more deaths of Americans under 50 than any other cause of death, including heart disease, cancer, homicide, suicide and other accidents.
President Biden has failed to respond to the border crisis and protect Americans from the dangers of illicit fentanyl. We are fortunate to have a Governor who understands the severity of the border crisis and its impact on Virginians. We should be thankful that the Governor has deployed the Virginia National Guard to serve alongside the Texas National Guard to protect our nation from the deadly effects of illegal drug trafficking. The members of the Virginia National Guard deployed to the border will bring a wealth of training and expertise that deserves our support and applause.
Governor Youngkin was willing to answer the call of President Biden’s self-made border crisis, putting the safety of Virginians first, and for that I am thankful.