President Donald Trump’s constant claim that we need a wall on the southern border to stop illicit drugs from entering the country just got completely undermined by the White House’s own National Drug Control Strategy report.
For years, especially the last few months, Trump has repeatedly said that a wall is the only way to stop drugs from pouring into the nation even though fact-checkers have frequently debunked his claim by pointing out that most drugs come in at legal ports of entry, which a wall would not stop.
Just look at his pattern of lies since the beginning of December alone:
We would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall. Either way, people will NOT be allowed into our Country illegally! We will close the entire Southern Border if necessary. Also, STOP THE DRUGS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018
The most important way to stop gangs, drugs, human trafficking and massive crime is at our Southern Border. We need Border Security, and as EVERYONE knows, you can’t have Border Security without a Wall. The Drones & Technology are just bells and whistles. Safety for America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2018
…The Steel Barrier, or Wall, should have been built by previous administrations long ago. They never got it done – I will. Without it, our Country cannot be safe. Criminals, Gangs, Human Traffickers, Drugs & so much other big trouble can easily pour in. It can be stopped cold!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2019
Democrats are kidding themselves (they don’t really believe it!) if they say you can stop Crime, Drugs, Human Trafficking and Caravans without a Wall or Steel Barrier. Stop playing games and give America the Security it deserves. A Humanitarian Crisis!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2019
Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security. With a powerful Wall or Steel Barrier, Crime Rates (and Drugs) will go substantially down all over the U.S. The Dems know this but want to play political games. Must finally be done correctly. No Cave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
But on Friday, the White House released a report that totally destroys Trump’s argument for the wall.
In fact, the report makes no mention of the border wall as part of the recommended strategy for stopping drugs. What it does do is make the case for the Democratic plan, which is more money for better technology and more personnel at the border to detect drugs, a plan that most Americans support.
According to the report:
“The historically high levels of cocaine production in Colombia, along with heroin and methamphetamine production in Mexico, combined with the vast number of routes and conveyances into the United States, make the challenge of combating drug trafficking across our physical borders no less daunting than it has been for the past several decades. Federal agencies should expand efforts in the detection and monitoring of the air and maritime approaches to the United States; the detection of illicit drugs and precursor chemicals being shipped in commercial containers; and interdiction of plant-based drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, as well as synthetic drugs and their precursor chemicals, along the Nation’s land borders. Moreover, this increased effort must be complemented by increased effort and cooperation from foreign partners who can contribute vital information on trafficking patterns and assets to seize drugs bound for the United States.”
The word “wall” appears nowhere in the report. That’s humiliating for Trump, who has desperately claimed that a wall is needed to combat drugs. Clearly, that’s not the case, and Congress can point to this report as a chief reason why taxpayers should not be forced to shell out tens of billions of dollars for a wall that will be ineffective against drug trafficking.
The report went even further by pointing out that giving addicts more access to treatment and rehabilitation are also key to combating drugs, which hits Trump again because he has sought to weaken healthcare in this country, including funding cuts to the addiction and rehabilitation services millions of people across the country need.
“Providing treatment services leading to long-term recovery for those suffering from substance use disorder, often using medication-assisted treatment(MAT) combined with therapy, moves people out of the active user population and on the path to recovery. By reducing the number of individuals who use illicit drugs through prevention and treatment, we can diminish the market forces pulling illicit drugs across our borders and into our communities.”
The bottom line is that Trump’s wall will not work to stop drugs. If it did, one would think this report would have included it, but it doesn’t even mention it. Congress would be wise to listen to this report as Republicans and Democrats work on a border security bill. Because why would they build an unnecessary wall on the border if it clearly won’t do what Trump says it will do? Trump is not an expert. The real experts wrote this report.
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