Sens. Ossoff, Cornyn, Lankford, Sinema Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Fentanyl Detection at the Southern Border

Last week, from the Southern Border, Sen. Ossoff again warned of the threat of terrorism without bipartisan border security legislation

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is introducing new bipartisan legislation to prevent fentanyl trafficking.

Sens. Ossoff, John Cornyn (R-TX), James Lankford (R-OK), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) recently introduced the bipartisan Detection Equipment and Technology Evaluation to Counter the Threat of (DETECT) Fentanyl and Xylazine Act to strengthen the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s capacity to detect, identify, and disrupt illicit substances being trafficked across the southern border.

The bipartisan bill would require the DHS Science and Technology Directorate to research and develop technologies that help detect and prevent drug trafficking across the southern border.

“Illegal fentanyl trafficking is devastating Georgia families and putting our kids at risk,” said Sen. Ossoff. “This is why alongside Senators Cornyn, Lankford, and Sinema, we are introducing this bipartisan bill to strengthen detection and prevention of fentanyl trafficking.”

“Fentanyl is an unyielding silent killer that lurks in the shadows of our communities, and we must prepare law enforcement to root it out and stop the loss of more innocent lives,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation will ensure our brave men and women in uniform have every available tool to safely identify these deadly drugs and help put a stop to this devastating epidemic.”

“For anyone outside of the Washington, DC beltway, there is no doubt that the border is in chaos,” said Sen. Lankford. “Besides a record number of illegal border crossers being released into the country with no idea who they are, where they are from, or where they are going, the crisis has also resulted in massive amounts of fentanyl coming into our country, which has been deadly to many communities across the US. Sadly, Oklahoma is no stranger to the terrible impact of fentanyl. We are calling on DHS to stop illegal immigration and develop a new way to detect, stop, and investigate fentanyl trafficking into the US. This is one step in stopping the chaos, but one that will have a huge impact on our communities and families.”

“Over half of the fentanyl coming into the U.S. comes through Arizona,” said Sen. Sinema. “Our bipartisan bill will help stop this dangerous flow of drugs by supplying law enforcement with new tools to detect opioids and crack down on the trafficking of fentanyl.”

Between FY 2020 and FY 2023, the amount of fentanyl seized at the southern border increased by 480%. In 2023, CBP seized 400,000 pounds of non-marijuana drugs, including 1,142,859 doses of fentanyl that were seized by the Atlanta Field Office alone.

Sen. Ossoff continues working to secure the southern border and protect Georgia families from drug trafficking.

In April, Sen. Ossoff helped pass the bipartisan Border Enforcement, Security, and Trade (BEST) Facilitation Act through the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to strengthen border security by providing additional CBP officers to scan cargo for illegal drugs and guns or human smuggling.

In March, the Sen. Ossoff-backed bipartisan Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act became law, which will sanction drug cartels and combat money laundering by the criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking.

Earlier this year, Sen. Ossoff introduced the Deploy Fentanyl Scanners Act of 2024 to help deploy scanners at ports of entry to better identify contraband, including fentanyl, being smuggled across the border through personal vehicles.

In February, Sen. Ossoff joined a group of Senators calling on President Biden to include robust Federal funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) drug trafficking prevention initiatives in his FY2025 budget.

In 2022, Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan Rural Opioid Abuse Prevention Act was signed into law to help rural communities experiencing high rates of opioid overdoses respond to the crisis.

Click here to read the DETECT Fentanyl and Xylazine Act.

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