The Los Angeles Times described President Trump’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, Friday this way: “CPAC’s reaction to President Trump’s speech: Two thumbs up.”
Nevertheless, I wish the president had been able to squeeze in two other issues that, I believe, could change the narrative on the immigration debate.
In short, “narrative” in this context is “the story” that people are being told and believe about something, in this case immigration. Many things can influence narrative, from news agencies and other media outlets to Hollywood elite and influential leaders.
Sometimes narrative can be nonfiction (“news”), fiction (“fake news”) or a little of both. For example, let’s say I ask my readers, where do most mass shootings occur? I assume most would say at schools or military bases. But the truth is, there are more mass shootings at restaurants than schools, and more at work places than military bases. Most might not know that because, for the most part, that hasn’t been the narrative set and broadcasted by most media outlets.
Regarding the issue of immigration, the mainstream media are largely trying to navigate the narrative around the issue that Trump is splitting and deporting law-abiding families and citizens, and restricting immigrants from entering our country through his policies and building a “Great Wall” between Mexico and the U.S.
In response, President Trump and his administration fire back by not only calling it “fake news” but also by stressing another narrative that they are only going after and deporting criminal illegals, or “bad hombres.”
As a result, the left reports on any “law-abiding immigrants” caught in the crossfire, and the right counters with success stories of “bad hombres” being apprehended and deported. And the debate continues ad nauseam.
President Trump has had a difficult time selling his “great wall” idea to at least half of Americans. However, I believe, if he were to emphasize the other two real border problems –gang infiltration and drug smuggling, and their effect upon American citizens – most would rally to his side, at least on this issue.
The heinous and interconnected criminal activity of gangs – transnational, street, prison and outlaw motorcycle gangs – and the pervasive transport of illegal drugs through our southern border are almost entirely overlooked in the immigration debate and by media broadcasting on both the left and right. Yet, they are virtually the only two issues that both left and right agree upon, and that they should be reduced and even abolished from the earth.
Last week, in my column, “MS-13 recruiting elementary kids via Facebook,” I discussed just how extensive gang immigration and their illegal activity is, hastened through our southern border. I encourage you to pause reading this column, and read that one. The numbers and evidence will blow you away.
According to the Washington Times, MS-13, which has ties to the Mexican Mafia, has a major smuggling operation in Mexico, which transports drugs, firearms, prostitution and other human trafficking, including illegal immigrants.
I believe gang activity and growth via our southern border is one of two issues President Trump overlooked at CPAC, but he should stress the issue in future speeches. It will help people to really understand the necessity for bolstering the southern border.
The second issue is the massive and pervasive transport and use of illegal drugs that are entrapping and killing more Americans, splitting more families and ruining more lives than cancer and heart disease.
Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan watchdog group, reported:
The Obama administration’s failure to protect the southern border has allowed Mexican cartels to smuggle record amounts of drugs into the United States, especially heroin, which is increasingly popular in the U.S. Once the drugs get smuggled north, Mexican traffickers use street, prison and outlaw motorcycle gangs to distribute them throughout the country much like a legitimate business enterprise. This has been going on for years and there seems to be no end in sight, according to a disturbing new report published by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the nonpartisan agency that provides Congress with policy and legal analysis. “Mexican transnational criminal organizations are the major suppliers and key producers of most illegal drugs smuggled into the United States,” the CRS states in its new report. “They have been increasing their share of the U.S. drug market – particularly with respect to heroin.” The bulk of the heroin smuggled into the United States transits across the Southwest border, the CRS writes, revealing that “from 2010 to 2015 heroin seizures in this area more than doubled from 1,016 kg to 2,524 kg.”
The trend mirrors the increase in overall seizures throughout the U.S., the CRS figures show. For instance, federal arrests and prosecutions of heroin traffickers have skyrocketed with 6,353 heroin-related arrests in 2015. Additionally, the number of individuals sentenced for heroin trafficking offenses in federal courts has increased by almost 50%, the report says. There are at least eight major Mexican drug trafficking organizations operating in the United States with the Sinaloa Cartel being the most active, the CRS reveals. “Mexican transnational criminal organizations (MTCOs) remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group can challenge them in the near term.” They operate sophisticated enterprises, using nearly 100 U.S. gangs in their cross-border crimes, government figures show.
Because the Mexican cartels move their drugs through the Southwest border, western states have become part of what’s known as the “heroin transit zone,” the CRS report says. “In addition, as the Mexican traffickers take on a larger role in the U.S. heroin market, and expand their operations to the East Coast, authorities have seen black tar heroin emerge in the Northeastern United States, where it had rarely been seen,” the report states. Large quantities of a synthetic opioid known as Fentanyl are also entering the U.S. primarily via the Mexican border, though the drug also comes from China. Fentanyl is 25-40 times more potent than heroin and 50-100 times more potent than morphine.
Under the Obama administration, Reuters reported, “A heroin ‘epidemic’ is gripping the United States, where cheap supply has helped push the number of users to a 20-year high, increasing drug-related deaths, the United Nations said on Thursday.
“According to the U.N.’s World Drug Report 2016, the number of heroin users in the United States reached around one million in 2014, almost three times as many as in 2003. Heroin-related deaths there have increased five-fold since 2000.”
And where are they getting their illegal drugs? Even the U.S. Department of Justice confessed, “Most foreign-produced illicit drugs available in the United States are smuggled into the country overland across the borders with Mexico. …”
It’s no surprise that the CRS advised politicians in Washington, “Policymakers may also look at existing federal strategies on drug control, transnational crime [gangs], and Southwest border crime to evaluate whether they are able to target the current heroin trafficking threat.”
With “most foreign-produced illicit drugs” smuggled across our southern border, Americans’ growing epidemic abuse of drugs (we consume 80 percent of global opioids), and 100 Americans (many youth) overdosing every day from drugs, isn’t it simply common sense that we bolster the southern border as a remedy to reduce it all? Is there a better, more effective option?
The sooner someone – namely the president and his administration – seizes and navigates a new (but old and growing) narrative that focuses on criminal gang, cartel and drug proliferation in the U.S. through our southern border, the sooner most Americans will rally to a solution of solidarity like bolstering our borders and building a wall.
And the timing of a new narrative couldn’t be better, since U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday it plans on awarding contracts by mid-April for the “Great Wall” along the 2,000-mile stretch that traffics and feeds the explosive growth of gangs and illicit drugs in our country.