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Britt, Rubio introduce bills to crack down on Fentanyl distributors

Britt, Rubio, and five colleagues introduced the No Coyote Cash Act to criminalize payments made with the intent of financing unlawful entry.

Official U.S. Senate photo by Renee Bouchard
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Senator Katie Britt, R-Alabama, the ranking member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, joined Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, in introducing two pieces of legislation to crack down on criminal activity that is endangering American families and communities amid the unprecedented national security and humanitarian crisis at our nation’s southern border.

Illegal border crossings continue to overwhelm American communities, while coyotes and cartels profit from human smuggling and trafficking at record levels. Currently, under federal law, there are only vague criminal offenses that address the encouragement, inducement or aiding and assisting of unlawful entry into the U.S. 

In response, Britt, Rubio, and five colleagues introduced the No Coyote Cash Act to criminalize payments made with the intent of financing unlawful entry into the U.S. and to penalize convicted foreign aliens who have violated this law by making them deportable and inadmissible for re-entrance. 

“With a record number of Americans dying from fentanyl poisoning, record deaths among migrants attempting to cross the border, record profits by the cartels, and a record amount of people on the terrorism watchlist apprehended at the border, there is no doubt that this is a crisis unlike which we have ever seen,” said Britt. “It is critical that we end incentives and loopholes that are encouraging people to break the law and game the system. This bill would protect vulnerable children, women, and men from being exploited by dangerous criminals, while also helping stem the tide of immigrants illegally flooding across our porous southern border.” 

Illicit fentanyl remains the leading cause of death among Americans aged 18-45. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, drug dealers are increasingly targeting children, teenagers, and young adults with fentanyl pills made to look like candy and common prescription medication.

The amount of fentanyl seized in Birmingham alone last year reportedly was enough to kill every single person in the state of Alabama. Additionally, in the first two months of the 2022 school year, Alabama schools had to administer Narcan 15 times because a student had overdosed on an opioid. 

In response to the surge of illicit fentanyl being trafficked across our southern border and into our communities, Britt, Rubio, and 13 colleagues reintroduced the Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act. The bill makes the distribution of fentanyl, resulting in death, punishable by federal felony murder charges. 

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“Fentanyl is stealing lives and devastating families in every corner of Alabama and America,” Britt said. “This crisis is infiltrating our schools and our communities, and it is past time that we hold the criminals profiting off of this poison accountable. This legislation is an important part of comprehensively addressing the supply of and demand for fentanyl in our country, so we can keep our children safe and our future strong.”

Britt has made border security and the safety of American children, families, and communities a top focus during her first seven weeks in office. She introduced a robust package of four pieces of legislation and has already cosponsored an additional four bills related to the topic, including Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s, R-Tennessee Stop Taxpayer Funding of Traffickers Act; Sen. Chuck Grassley’s, R-Iowa, Immigration Parole Reform Act of 2023 and Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act; and Senator Ted Budd’s, R-North Carolina, Build the Wall Now Act.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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