(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden’s visit to Mexico failed to produce any major breakthroughs when it comes to fighting the flow of fentanyl into the United States.
Biden, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came together for the North American Leaders Summit, but conversations addressing the fentanyl epidemic were lacking and no key commitments to the fight were made.
Authorities continue to make massive busts and opioids like fentanyl are being seized across the United States, even moving further north.
In Portland, two grams of fentanyl powder and 30,000 pills were found. Portland police say that’s nearly $100,000 in drugs.
The city of Nogales, Arizona, is leading the nation in fentanyl seizures.
In the first 3 months of this fiscal year, officers at Nogales’ port of entry have already seized at least 16.2 million fentanyl pills. That’s more than all of last year, which Port Director Michael Humphries says was a record year.
While bare-bones crews are on the front lines working to keep fentanyl from getting into the hands of Americans, Obrador claims Mexico is cracking down on cartel operations.
“Because fentanyl and other chemicals come from Asia and these substances are processed in laboratories. We’re blocking the entrance of these chemicals and we’re destroying laboratories,” Obrador said.
The chemicals to make the deadly drug flow into Mexico from China and into the hands of the Sinaloa and rival Jalisco cartels who produce the drugs in mass at makeshift crude labs.
It’s extremely cheap to make. The more fentanyl the cartels make, the more likely fentanyl is to make its way across the border into the U.S. The DEA estimates only 5% to 10% of the fentanyl that is sent across the border is actually seized.
Biden wants president Obrador’s help dismantling the cartel operations and Obrador, in turn, wants Biden’s help to stem the flow of firearms coming in from the U.S. destined for cartels.
“We are battling fentanyl, these chemicals, and we are doing it because we care. No human is foreign to us,” Obrador said. “It really matters to us to be able to help with what is happening in the United States, the deaths from fentanyl. But also as we discussed today, it is not only an issue for the United States, because if we don’t confront this problem, this scourge, we are going to suffer it, too. So we have to act in a coordinated way.”