NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — According to the Justice Department, criminal organizations like the Mexican drug cartels use North Dakota and our tribal lands to distribute drugs in and around the US — which is a major contributor to our current fentanyl crisis. So, what needs to be done to stop this? Senator Kevin Cramer states that he has an answer.

“There’s several things,” he states, “but I’d start with the border. I mean, 8 million illegal immigrants have crossed the border since Joe Biden became president of the United States. President Trump had pretty much closed down the border — he was building the wall, he had remained in Mexico policy., and he had a strong relationship with the Mexican government who also provided security on their side. He ended the catch-and-release program in the United States. Joe Biden opened the borders wide open, and said ‘come on in’.”
Senator Cramer says that the southern border is the main avenue used for illegal fentanyl to come into our country — and that once it crosses security, it doesn’t take long for it to get through the entire country.

“The other thing,” he continues, “is that we have to go after is the pipeline — which is sort of what the Justice Department report is talking about. I had a meeting just last week in my office with Chairwoman Janet Alkire from the Standing Rock Reservation, and she’s doing a marvelous job with very few resources.”

Despite this praise, Cramer also states The Bureau of Indian Affairs does not provide nearly what tribal governments need in terms of police and police presence.

“Consequently, ” Cramer says, “it becomes sort of a haven for both human and drug trafficking — which also then leads to the other part of this problem, and that is the demand. The fact that these drugs are in such high demand in our country tells us we have a lot of community problems. We have some education problems, and economic challenges that can also lead to drug use and abuse.”

He also adds, however, that a federal solution is not the only solution.

“It’s an all-of-government solution, he states, “but it’s got to start at the community level. It’s got to start in our churches and our synagogues. And it’s got to start with our families. But we have to provide some leadership to it as well, whether it’s policing resources, closing the border. Again, I go back to that. That’s the first thing we ought to do, is not make it so darn easy for them to bring these drugs into our country, ” said Sen. Cramer.

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, North Dakota has one of the lowest drug overdose death rates in the country. However, fentanyl is still making its way to the Upper Midwest. According to the DEA, 42% of all pills containing the drug contain at least 2 milligrams — a potentially lethal dose.