Missouri Attorney General urges secretary Blinken to address deadly fentanyl crisis

JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, alongside sixteen other states, today sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging the Department of State to take a tougher approach to stemming the influx of deadly fentanyl into Missouri and the nation as a whole. The Attorney General’s Office has been one of the most active Offices in urging the Biden administration to secure the southern border. Missouri defeated the Biden Administration three times in court, requiring the Biden Administration to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols, or the “Remain in Mexico” policy, in 2021. The Attorney General’s Office also filed suit against the Biden Administration to require the administration to use previously appropriated funds to continue construction of the Southwest border wall.
“Chinese chemical manufacturers are now sending the raw ingredients to make fentanyl to Mexican drug cartels, who are trafficking fentanyl into the United States at an alarming rate,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Fentanyl is entering Missouri and destroying lives – over 800 Missourians died of opioid overdoses in the first half of 2021 alone. My Office has taken proactive steps to secure the border, it’s time the Biden Administration do the same. Their continued inaction could mean a matter of life or death for hundreds of Missourians.”
Historically, fentanyl was made in China and shipped directly to the United States, but China has since been diverting precursor chemicals for fentanyl manufacturing to other countries, including Mexico.
Fentanyl has been smuggled into the United States from Mexico in alarming quantities. According to the U.S. Department of State, seizures of fentanyl directly shipped from China to the United States shrunk dramatically from over 128 kilograms seized in 2017 to less than half a kilogram in 2020. Today, most fentanyl available in the United States has been trafficked from Mexico across the U.S. Southwest border. Seizures of fentanyl at the border increased from approximately 1,187 kilograms in 2019 to approximately 2,939 kilograms in 2020.
In 2021, Fentanyl seizures at the border topped heroin seizures for the first time in American history. The Drug Enforcement Administration seized enough fentanyl in 2021 to provide a lethal dose to every American.
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has made border security a top issue. In 2021, the Office sued the Biden administration after the Biden Administration ended the “Remain in Mexico” policy. In August, a federal district court judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, reversing President Biden’s termination of MPP. The federal government appealed in September, but the appeals court sided with Missouri once again in December, as did the United States Supreme Court.
Further, in October of 2021, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office sued the Biden Administration to require them to continue construction of the Southwest border wall using funds previously appropriated for that purpose by Congress.

States joining Missouri in the letter to Secretary Blinken include West Virginia, Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas.

The full letter can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2022-01-13-letter-to-secretary-blinken.pdf?sfvrsn=f5e9e8f7_2