Are Democrats partially responsible for America’s heroin epidemic?

Hector Garza, president of the Laredo, Texas chapter of the National Border Patrol Council, contends that illegal immigrants crossing the border are bringing heroin into this country as a matter of routine. Every illegal alien who crosses the border between the U.S. and Mexico does so for a fee, and often the price is carrying a backpack full of heroin, Garza says.

Department of Homeland Security officials take basically the same view. Most heroin is smuggled into the U.S. by illegal immigrants crossing the border with help from Mexican drug cartels, DHS officials tell the Daily Caller. “The price for being led across is carrying one of those backpacks [full of heroin],” says Adam Park, Homeland Security Investigations Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

If, in fact, heroin is flooding into this country via illegal immigrants crossing the border with Mexico, then Democrats bear significant responsibility for the heroin epidemic. Why? Because they made securing the border contingent on amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegals. If Democrats had been willing to pass legislation to secure the border without extracting highly controversial concessions from Republicans, Congress would have dedicated the resources needed to enhance border security.

As the drug-smuggling driven heroin epidemic illustrates, you can’t have a truly secure nation without a truly secure border. Thus, the security of our border should never be held hostage to other goals. Yet, this is exactly what the Democrats did.

As it is, the border is only about 40 percent secure, according to National Border Patrol Council president Brandon Judd. Garza says this figure may well be overstated. He adds that we lack up-to-date cameras and that there are blind spots where we don’t have radio reception. There are also regions the Border Patrol can’t access for environmental policy reasons, according to Garza. They are controlled by drug cartels. Finally, we simply don’t have enough agents.

President Obama claims that the border is more secure than it has been in decades. Garza says that the DHS cooks the numbers that supposedly support Obama’s claim. In any event, the border is far less secure than it would have been if Democrats had been willing to pass straight-up legislation to better secure it.

Thus, the drug epidemic appears to be a tragic consequence of the Democrats’ opportunism.