Lethal fentanyl is pushing into New York, making the opioid crisis worse, according to Senator Charles Schumer.
Schumer is pushing for a new federal plan to have more border agents, test labs and other high-tech tools to help prevent fentanyl from China, Mexico and other countries from hitting the streets of New York and the rest of the United States in record amounts.
Schumer is also condemning the new White House plans to cut the budget for the Office of National Drug Control Policy by 95%. Schumer says the drug programs in place work and have saved lived. He says without these programs, the opioid crisis will more easily take hold.
"President Trump's nonsensical proposal to gut the Office of National Drug Control Policy is the most destructive contribution he's made yet to the fight against the opioid and heroin epidemic, and another clear sign he has no intention of keeping the promises he's made to the American people," said Schumer. "While candidate Trump pledged to 'take care' of Americans struggling with addiction and spend the money to succeed, his proposal to eliminate funding for programs, such as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and Drug-Free Communities - which are instrumental in aiding local enforcement drug trafficking in many communities in New York, at the southern border and elsewhere - would effectively kick Americans seeking treatment to the curb and make our communities less safe.
With fentanyl continuing to be a concern, Schumer also pushed for the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology Act (INTERDICT Act) to give U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the hi-tech tools and resources needed to improve detection and increase the seizure of fentanyl shipped to the U.S.
With the Canadian border so close, Schumer emphasized the importance of strengthening screening abilities and CBP's resources as the front line of defense against fentanyl's push into the U.S.
"These deadly substances are being delivered to our homes, being sold on our streets, and destroying our families," said Schumer. "We know how they get here and where they come from, now we need to give CBP the resources to stop this flood and help save lives. The INTERDICT Act will provide those on the frontlines with hi-tech tools that can root out fentanyl and other synthetic opioids that are leading to tragic deaths...throughout New York. The devastation these drugs cause is not a partisan issue, and I'll be fighting hard to get my colleagues on board to get this bill through the Senate."