‘It was just an eye-opener,’ Iowa Congressman says after trip to border

Politics

HULL, Iowa — U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra, Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District Republican from Hull, said that he traveled to southwest Texas over the weekend because he wanted to see the efforts to stop illegal drugs from entering the country.

“It was just an eye-opener,” Feenstra said of what he saw. “They are doing everything possible to protect Americans,” Feenstra said of the law enforcement efforts, “…maybe they get seven out of ten.”

But Feenstra said that he is concerned about those other three out of ten who bring drugs like cocaine and fentanyl into communities. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration describes fentanyl as “a synthetic opioid that is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent that morphine.” 

Supplies of fentayl have surged in deliveries across the border. Nearly 50 percent more fentanyl arrived in the United States during the first four months of the year compared to the amount that came into the country in all of 2020, according to Customs and Border Protection.

“We’re seeing this massive surge coming across the border and we’re seeing bad actors coming across the border,” Feenstra said.

He said the mountainous area makes additional border fencing improbable and also more challenging for agents to track down drug runners. Feenstra wants more helicopters and border agents to help stop the drugs.

Feenstra’s visit means that each of the Iowa Republicans serving in the U.S. House or Senate has now visited the border as GOP members of Congress have increased attention on additional drugs and migrants coming across the region.

Ashley Hinson, First District Republican from Marion, traveled to the border in April, 2021.

Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Second District Republican from Ottumwa, traveled to the border in March, 2021.

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