Attorney General nominee William Barr made it very clear on Tuesday that he supports President Donald Trump’s proposed border barrier.
During his confirmation hearing, Barr told Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, that a wall or barrier on the southern border between the United States and Mexico is “a critical part of border security.”
“How do you see the situation at our southern border contributing to the prevalence of controlled substance used here in the United States?” Ernst asked.
“Well, as Ben pointed out earlier, it is the major avenue by which drugs come into the country. Heroin, fentanyl, all the serious drugs are coming across that border,” Barr responded.
“And again, I feel it is a critical part of border security that we need to have barriers on the border, we need a barrier system on the border to get control over the border,” Barr continued. “I think that obviously there are some places that more of the traffic comes over than others but unless you have a system across the border you’re not going to be able to deal with it because you’ll just displace it.”
“If you build a barrier in one place you’ll just displace it to another,” Barr added. “We need a barrier system across the border, part of that is illegal immigration but a big part of it also is preventing the influx of drugs.”
Barr said he didn’t “think it was possible” to secure the border without barrier.
Barr denies he had anything to do with the reported upcoming departure of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein: "I asked him if he would stay for a while and he said he would, and so as of right now he has no concrete plans" https://t.co/HRFg9OB8mP pic.twitter.com/uainnJpHze
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 15, 2019
A 2018 report from the National Drug Threat Assessment supports Barr’s statements:
- Heroin-related drug-poisoning deaths almost doubled between 2013 and 2016.
- In 2016, approximately 174 people died every day from drug poisoning, outnumbering deaths by firearms, motor vehicle crashes, suicide and homicide.
- In 2017, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl were involved in nearly 30,000 deaths, and from 2016-2017, Mexican heroin production grew by 37 percent. Mexican cartels continue to make large quantities of cheap methamphetamine and deliver it to the United States through the Southern border. Seizures at the border increased from 8,900 pounds in 2010 to nearly 82,000 pounds thus far in 2018.
The Trump administration has argued that a border wall would pay for itself — and a new study shows that it would do just that and then some.
According to analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies, Trump’s border wall would only need to stop a small percentage of illegal aliens who cross into the United States in order for the wall to pay for itself over the course of the next decade.
The study found that the border wall would only need to stop between 3 to 4 percent of future illegal entries — or 60,000 illegal aliens — over a decade to amount to $5 billion, which is what Trump is currently requesting to pay for part of the wall.
Below is an excerpt from the analysis:
If the number of illegal crossing in 2018 was to continue for the next 10 years, the lifetime net fiscal drain from the 1.7 to two million new illegal immigrants would be $140 billion to $164 billion — $82,191 multiplied by the cost of each successful crosser. For a wall costing $5 billion to pay for itself, it would have to stop or deter 3 to 4 percent (about 60,000) of the expected successful illegal crossers over the next decade.
The bombshell study proving Trump’s argument that the wall would pay for itself comes as the government is nearing its fourth week of a partial shutdown amid an impasse in negotiations over the federal budget.