U.S. SENATE—U.S. Senator Steve Daines, along with a group of Republican senators, reintroduced the “Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act,” that would add large-scale drug smuggling as an additional basis for Title 42 expedited removal immigration authority. Montana has seen a 1,100 percent increase in fatal overdoses linked to fentanyl since 2017.
“The fentanyl that is coming through President Biden’s open southern border and into Montana is wreaking havoc on our local communities,” said Senator Daines. “We need to be using every resource at our disposal to stem the flood of illegal drugs into the United States, including Title 42. Montanans have had enough of the addiction, crime and tragedy the fentanyl epidemic has inflicted on our communities.”
Senator Daines joined Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) in reintroducing the bill.
According to Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, anti-drug task forces in Montana seized twice as much fentanyl in the first three quarters of 2022 than they did in the last four years combined. Last year, Montana’s state crime lab also saw that fatal overdoses linked to fentanyl were up more than 1,100% since 2017.
In February, Senator Daines invited Tom Schrapps, who lost his son Reilly to fentanyl poisoning in Butte, to be his guest at the president’s State of the Union address.
Also in February, the Biden administration argued to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is currently hearing a case regarding the legality of Biden administration efforts to terminate Title 42, that Title 42 will terminate in May 2023 with the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency status. Daines’ legislation would preserve continued use of Title 42 authority in order to combat drug trafficking at the border.
On April 26, 2022, Daines introduced a bill to prevent the Biden administration from using VA health care professionals to mitigate an expected surge of illegal immigration as a result of the reversal of Title 42.
On April 25, 2022, Daines issued a statement after a federal court blocked the Biden administration from ending President Trump’s Title 42 policy which allowed for the rapid expulsion of illegal immigrants.
On April 21, 2022, Daines sent a letter demanding the Biden administration commit to preventing VA health care professionals from being used to facilitate an expected surge of illegal immigration as a result of the reversal of Title 42.
On April 7, 2022, Daines sent a letter to the Biden administration continuing his push to secure the southern border and blasting President Biden’s disastrous decision to rescind Title 42.
Before the decision was made, Daines urged the Biden admin to keep Title 42 in place.