West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, pointing to a new report from the Drug Enforcement Agency warning about the growing dangers of fentanyl coming into the country, insisted Friday on Newsmax that it's "long past time" that the Biden administration makes the United States its priority when it comes to immigration.
Morrisey told Newsmax's "National Report" that he's called for the firing of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, "because he's been an unmitigated disaster" where the border is concerned, but "a lot more needs to be done" on the fentanyl issue.
The DEA, in its report this week, said fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid, is driving the nation's overdose epidemic. In the 12-month period ending in October 2021, overdoses killed more than 105,000 Americans, with 66% of those deaths related to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.
The report further indicated that last year, there were more fentanyl-related deaths than those caused by guns or automobile accidents combined.
"Fentanyl is highly-addictive, found in all 50 states, and drug traffickers are increasingly mixing it with other illicit drugs — in powder and pill form — in an effort to drive addiction and attract repeat buyers," the report said.
Morrisey told Newsmax that the drug has been destructive in West Virginia because the product has the "wrong gradient" shipped from China and isn't inspected properly.
"There has been so little attention by the Biden administration on the fentanyl problem and the border concerns and now you're starting to see just an absolute explosion of new federal cases in West Virginia and across the country," the attorney general said. "I'm glad to see the DEA focus on this."
However, the Biden administration seems to "want to do anything other than secure our borders," said Morrisey. "We see the problem manifests not only in terms of the raw number of people coming across every single day but in human trafficking. When I was down at the border along the Rio Grande a just a couple of months ago, we were learning that the drug cartels were making $100 million a week in human trafficking and smuggling."
And then, when the volume of fentanyl is factored in, "many people are dying as a result," he said.
West Virginia is involved in a trial against some of the makers of legal opioids as well, which is "particularly challenging," said Morrisey.
"Our lawsuit alleges that there's been misleading marketing and omissions, and a failure of these companies to meet their duty, [as well as] concepts known as pseudoaddiction," he said, noting that many people who become addicted start out by using legal pain pill products but move on to heroin or other drugs.
"This is a complicated mess, but we do know that the Biden administration has not been helping at all along the border, and there's a lot that needs to be done," said Morrisey.
In West Virginia alone, 10,050 people died from drug overdoses between 1999 to 2019, so the fentanyl and opioid problem has touched all parts of the state, he continued.
"We focused on the folks that were making these so-called legal pain pills and showing their marketing practices and how they failed to meet their duty under West Virginia laws," said Morrisey. "I think that a lot of people believe that West Virginia was kind of an easy prey, and obviously West Virginia has been ground zero for the opioid epidemic."
Morrisey added that over a prolonged period, the marketing practices grew, and led to the number of people being addicted in his state.
"I'm speaking for all the people in our state who are negatively affected by this terrible, terrible epidemic to make their voices heard," said the attorney general.
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