Paul Ryan has a serious addiction to the mountains of campaign cash that open-borders proponents have been feeding him to support their cause. Unfortunately, his addiction has come with some ugly and dangerous side effects for the rest of us.
One of those side effects is the flood of cheap heroin that has literally been pouring into the U.S. at an accelerating rate for years. That heroin is increasingly produced, trafficked, and pushed by Mexican cartels. Researchers consulted for a September 2015 feature in the Washington Post have estimated that only around 1.5 percent of the illegal drugs entering this country are currently discovered and stopped at the border.
Visiting ‘Almost America’
In early May, I traveled to two sectors of the Texas border to see for myself how what’s happening there relates to the rising drug problems we see in Wisconsin—in particular, the trafficking of cheap Mexican heroin and addiction to it. Wisconsinites are dying in increasing numbers. A recent study commissioned by Milwaukee Common Council President Mike Murphy pointed to 888 heroin and opioid-related deaths between 2012 and 2015 in Milwaukee County alone. In 2014, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services was already reporting a five-fold increase in drug deaths that mentioned heroin between 2004 and 2012.
What I learned firsthand at the border made such an impact that I literally couldn’t get it out of my mind.
I stood with county law enforcement, both in broad daylight and at night, in areas that Paul Ryan and the rest of Washington’s political class have literally abandoned, right along with their constitutional duty. Why did I go with county law enforcement? Because federal border patrol agents, while often paid far more and who often do want to help, generally aren’t allowed to do so. In many cases, in fact, federal border agents are pulled so far back from the border that they cannot actually be effective.
In some areas I visited, the Rio Grande River is so narrow and shallow that you can literally wade across it, presenting no real barrier at all to those wishing to enter the U.S. illegally. In other places there are actually unguarded footbridges that traverse the border, making it even easier to come across.
In most cases, there is no fence or wall at all. Occasionally, a property owner has built a barrier of some sort, attempting to do independently what the federal government will not. Such fences may slow those who traffic in drugs and human beings, but they will not stop them.
County law enforcement frequently has to battle the drug cartels alone in these areas. Sometimes those cartels are assisted by the Mexican Army. Is it any wonder that locals have dubbed this virtual no man’s land ‘Almost America’?
The drug cartels must appreciate all the help they get from Paul Ryan for allowing them to operate largely unchecked.
Talking to Sheriffs
County law enforcement—those who do want to secure the border on behalf of citizens—are, frankly, stretched too thin. Federal dollars often filter down in amounts that are too small to make a difference or don’t come at all. And that seems to be just the way Paul Ryan and Washington’s political class like it.
In talking to the sheriffs of Hudspeth and Culberson Counties, in particular, I gained some remarkable insights.
It turns out they haven’t seen a federal dollar in a mighty long time. Several years ago, there was a one-time $42,000 payout from the state that they had to split between them to purchase equipment. There hasn’t been much in the way of help from anyone since.
Yet, considering all of the horror stories we’ve heard about the exorbitant cost of building a wall, the sheriffs tell me that securing our southern border is not an impossible or even an overly expensive task. They could do most or all of the job, if they just had reasonable resources. It won’t take billions or even trillions of dollars. The amount needed to address the problem is far lower than most people would imagine—in the millions.
Mostly what’s required is personnel and equipment. One of the sheriffs confidently told me that all he needed was 75 men to lock down his stretch of the border. Considering that many of the counties in Texas are bigger than some of the original 13 colonies, 75 men doesn’t seem out of line.
Of course, Paul Ryan won’t tell you any of this.
But I will.
Getting to the Truth
In point of fact, Paul Ryan has become legendary in the Border States and elsewhere for supporting policies that undermine or prevent effective border security and enforcement. This past December alone, the newly elected speaker rammed through a $1.8 trillion Omnibus package that funded a host of dangerous, border-related policies, including but not limited to: executive amnesty, federal grants for sanctuary cities, resettlement of illegal aliens within the U.S., the release of criminal aliens, and—the cherry on the cake, tax credits for illegal aliens. He doesn’t seem to care one bit that these policies facilitate the flow of drugs into and throughout this country or that they endanger Americans in multiple ways.
Paul Ryan appears oblivious even to the consequences for people in his own district who deal every day with the direct effects of trafficking between Chicago and Milwaukee. The best he’s mustered is to support treatment-related legislation for the addicted. He’s addressing mere symptoms, while utterly ignoring the causes.
For those who would disagree, I ask point blank: What’s Paul Ryan doing about the problem of border security? Is he helping us or is he hurting us?
The record is clear.