President Trump signed a measure into law Wednesday night to give border patrol agents better tools to detect and stop the smuggling of highly deadly fentanyl into the U.S.
In a somber bipartisan event at the White House, the president signed the Interdict Act, which provides border and customs agents with $9 million for additional portable chemical screening devices to check packages, mail and travelers.
The president called it “a significant step forward” in battling the opioid crisis that is killing tens of thousands of Americans annually.
“They’re using our postal system and they’re killing our people,” he said of smugglers. He stressed that “we need customs and border protection.”
Bill sponsor Sen. Edward Markey, Massachussetts Democrat, said 80 to 90 percent of the drugs are coming from China. Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, told the president, “This is why people elected you.”
Rep. Louis Gohmert, Texas Republican, said the crisis highlights the need for the president’s proposed wall along the Mexican border.
“We’re going to build the wall,” Mr. Trump said.
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