Damoose supports Stronger Borders, Safer Communities plan to protect Michigan

Damoose supports Stronger Borders, Safer Communities plan to protect Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Damoose supported a Senate Republican effort introduced on Wednesday that seeks to uphold federal immigration laws and help keep communities in Michigan safe from the ongoing fentanyl crisis.

“The crisis at the southern border is endangering communities across the nation and allowing individuals who are a known threat to the United States to freely enter our country,” said Damoose, R-Harbor Springs. “The president’s open border policies are putting our national security at risk and allowing record amounts of deadly fentanyl to enter the United States.

“There are approximately 3,000 overdose deaths in Michigan each year and fentanyl is a major cause of these heart-wrenching tragedies.”

In 2023, more than 27,000 pounds of fentanyl was seized at the border — an 860% increase compared to 2019. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, illicit fentanyl is primarily manufactured and smuggled into the United States through Mexico. Fentanyl is typically mixed with other drugs to increase potency. The drug is roughly 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, making just 2 milligrams of fentanyl lethal.

“The amount of fentanyl pouring over our borders is enough to kill millions of Americans and not only puts citizens at risk, but also puts law enforcement officers in grave danger as they seek to keep the drug off our streets,” Damoose said. “Drug overdoses have continued to rise and are now the leading cause of death among Americans between the ages of 18 and 45.”

Three weeks after six kilograms of fentanyl were seized in southwest Michigan last year, the DEA seized 20 kilograms of fentanyl in Oakland County. It was the largest-ever fentanyl bust in Michigan and contained enough fentanyl to kill roughly 10 million people.

The Strong Borders, Safe Communities plan seeks to curb the dramatic rise in fentanyl-related crimes and deaths and includes increased penalties for the production, delivery, or possession of fentanyl. The package would also require every Michigan community to enforce federal immigration laws, end the practice of “sanctuary cities” in Michigan and formally call on the president and Congress to immediately and fully resolve the ongoing border crisis.

“This plan takes major steps to keep Michigan residents safe from the influx of fentanyl coming over our southern border and prevents Michigan communities from becoming a safe haven for those who are in the country illegally,” Damoose said.


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