WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – After President Biden briefly brought up immigration during his State of the Union address, lawmakers are weighing in on the issue and debating what can be done to help with the fentanyl crisis.
“If we don’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, at least pass my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border,” Biden said during the address.
Despite those comments, Republicans, such as Utah Congressman Blake Moore, are critical after President Bident didn’t make immigration a larger focus during his address.
“The abundance of fentanyl in our society – this doesn’t need to be so political this is a major problem,” Rep. Moore said.
Moore says the Biden administration needs stronger border policies, adding, “the simple policies to deter people from coming through our border constantly, things like the migrant protection protocols, there’s no reason for that not to be in place.”
“Now, facts aren’t necessarily hugely important to some people – but most fentanyl comes across the border through legal ports of entry,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) added.
Congressman Himes says if lawmakers want to stop drugs from flowing across the border the solution isn’t about keeping migrants out or building walls.
“I’m not saying we don’t have an immigration problem; we do. I’m not saying we don’t have a border problem. Fentanyl is a different problem,” Himes argued.
Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas, who represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border, agrees.
“They come through ports of entry, not in between,” Rep. Cuellar said.
He says President Biden is right to focus on increasing the technology and resources at ports of entry.
Cuellar added “that technology is going to be very important to make sure that we stop those drugs from coming into the U.S.”