Arizona mother: Mayorkas’ policies ‘partially responsible for my daughter’s death’

(The Center Square) – An Arizona mother who lost her daughter to fentanyl poisoning testified Thursday before a U.S. House committee that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ border policies “are partially responsible for my daughter’s death.”

Josephine Dunn testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security in the second Congressional hearing held to examine the consequences of Mayorkas’ policies.

Dunn’s daughter, Ashley, died in 2021 at age 26 after purchasing what she believed was an oxycodone pill that was instead laced with fentanyl.

Since then, Dunn has called on the Arizona legislature to pass a bill to increase penalties for drug dealers selling fentanyl. Last year, HB 2167, the Ashley Dunn Bill, named after her daughter, failed to pass for a second year in a row.

Thursday would have been Ashley’s 29th birthday, her mother said through tears.

“I understand that the mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to secure our nation’s air, land, and sea borders to prevent illegal activity while facilitating lawful travel and trade,” Dunn said. “In my humble opinion, Mr. Mayorkas’ border policy is partially responsible for my daughter’s death. His wide-open border policy allows massive quantities of poisonous fentanyl into our country.

“Arizona is the fentanyl superhighway into the United States. I personally feel Mr. Mayorkas is responsible for opening that border to allow more than 10 million illegal border crossings since February 2021, which supports most of the illegal fentanyl into this country. This weapon of Weapon of Mass Destruction that has killed more than 100,000 Americans on our soil for two years in a row.”

Dunn reiterated what officials in 50 Texas counties have argued, “This is an invasion. The weapon of mass destruction has caused unimaginable numbers of deaths and unmeasurable damage to families, including my own. My heart is broken and he couldn’t even be here today,” she said, referring to Mayorkas. “Whatever he is doing that is more important than facing me today, I don’t know what that could be.”

In her written testimony, she said, “Mr. Mayorkas’ participation in all of this … is clearly an intentional support of the enemy, which disqualifies him from his position.”

The hearing is part of several designed to make the case by Republicans to impeach and remove Mayorkas from office.

Under the Biden administration, Arizona has reported the second greatest number of illegal border crossers behind Texas. In fiscal 2023, more than 775,000 illegally entered Arizona from Mexico, The Center Square exclusively reported.

The Tucson Sector saw the third-highest number of illegal entries along the southwest border. Its Chief Border Patrol Agent John Modlin recently told Congress about the types of human and drug smugglers coming through: “Most run from and fight our agents to avoid apprehension. Many are previously deported felons who know they are inadmissible to the United States and many pose a serious threat to our communities.”

Yuma Sector Deputy Chief Border Patrol Agent Dustin Caudle said seizures in the field of fentanyl, cocaine and heroin were up in an area that “is not a well-known narcotic corridor” but is “mostly a human smuggling type corridor.”

In fiscal 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials alone seized enough lethal drugs to kill more than 6 billion people, including 27,000 pounds of fentanyl at ports of entry nationwide.

State law enforcement officials have also been seizing record amounts of fentanyl, The Center Square has reported. Last year, in Arizona, one multiagency effort led to seizing enough illicit drugs, including fentanyl, to kill over 40 million people. In one single Arizona Department of Public Safety bust, enough fentanyl was seized to kill over 800,000 people.

In one single bust in Los Angeles, enough fentanyl was seized to kill over 600,000 people.

In two multiagency drug busts in Florida, enough fentanyl was seized to kill nearly double the state’s population.

In Texas, officials have seized more than 453 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill more than the populations of Canada and the United States.

In 2022, Drug Enforcement Agency agents seized more than 58 million fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl and 13,000 pounds of fentanyl powder, “enough fentanyl to supply a potentially lethal dose to every member of the U.S. population.”

It also issued a public safety alert stating six out of every 10 fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills contain a potentially lethal dose.

Dunn, like Families Against Fentanyl, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, and others, describe fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction. Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45.

Moody led a coalition calling on the Biden administration to label illicit fentanyl as a WMD and to stop viewing fentanyl poisonings as a “narcotics control problem.” She points to the Russian army using fentanyl as a weapon to end a hostage crisis, killing more than 120 hostages, and says any terrorist could do the same and kill far more Americans.

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