Congresswoman Lori Chavez-DeRemer,
(2/16/23) Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) joined House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA-20) and Reps. Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06), Jen Kiggans (VA-02), and Derrick Van Orden (WI-03) at the southern border near Tucson, Arizona. The group met with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents, local law enforcement, local elected officials, and members of the community to learn more about the challenges they are facing due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the border. The Tucson sector of the border is one of the busiest in terms of apprehensions and illegal drug seizures.
“As a mother and a former mayor, I’m troubled by the humanitarian crisis unfolding not only at the border, but also in our local communities. Cartels are funneling fentanyl across the border in massive amounts, which has turned every state into a border state. It’s had a particularly profound impact on Oregon, which ranks number one in drug problems but number 50 in drug treatment.
“The largest fentanyl bust in Oregon’s history happened in the 5th District last year. Law enforcement seized 150,000 pills containing fentanyl and enough fentanyl powder to kill 4.5 million people – more than the population of Oregon. The suspect was being investigated for trafficking fentanyl that was manufactured in Mexico. Once it crosses the border, it impacts our communities in so many devastating ways. It’s sold to the homeless, creating a death spiral of addiction, poverty, and more homelessness. Fentanyl has even made its way into Oregon schools
“That’s why I visited the border today. If we want to solve this crisis, we have to start at the beginning. We have to see the problems for ourselves, meet with people on the ground, and learn more about the challenges they’re facing and how we can work together moving forward.
“In the coming days, I’ll be reviewing legislation that will help tackle this crisis. I want to thank our brave CBP agents and all law enforcement officers who are serving on the front lines. It’s not an easy job. I appreciated having the opportunity to meet with them today, and I’ll do my part to ensure they have the support they need from Congress.
“My grandmother’s family immigrated to America so she could have a better life. I’ll continue fighting to ensure future generations are afforded the same opportunities my family had – and that starts by getting this humanitarian crisis under control,” Chavez-DeRemer said in a statement following today’s meetings.
Chavez-DeRemer participated in a press conference in Tucson earlier today to discuss her meetings with law enforcement and local residents who are being impacted by the crisis. View or download her remarks HERE.
Below is a transcript of Chavez-DeRemer’s remarks:
We are the solution makers in Washington, D.C. now. I was a former mayor of Happy Valley, Oregon for eight years. I sat before the group today at the roundtable and I listened to mayors. And I listened to the supervisors. And I listened to Border Patrol.
And if you could’ve heard their voices.
They’re not sure what to do.
They’ve lost hope.
My message to them was: don’t give up on your people.
Please, don’t give up on us.
We’re here to make a difference.
Fentanyl is attacking the streets of Oregon. We had our largest [fentanyl] drug bust in Oregon’s history in my district this past year. It would’ve killed 4.5 million people. That is more than the population of Oregon as a whole.
Why am I here? Not only to support my colleagues – not only to get this under control. We all ran on border security. It is our job. We will help. Help is on the way.
Chavez-DeRemer also took to Twitter earlier today to discuss some of the ways fentanyl has negatively impacted the 5th District. Learn more HERE