Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, said the fentanyl crisis is "absolutely" a border security issue.
"With Customs and Border Protection, DHS [Department of Homeland Security] personnel so overwhelmed with just the volume of the number of people that are coming across, because the president and vice president said, 'Our border's open; you can come in anytime,' they are so tied up with that activity that they can't do the other part of their job, which is stopping harmful products from coming into this country," Burgess said Thursday during an appearance on Newsmax's "Spicer & Co."
"I've worked on this problem for a number of years. It is a different disease today than it was in 2015 when we were concerned with the opiate crisis. Fentanyl is a much more toxic compound. It is absolutely lethal.
"It has found its way as a contaminant into other products that people might buy. And here's the really scary part: It's being sold on the Internet; it's being sold on Snapchat. ... It is such a deadly compound that one pill can kill," he added.
Snapchat, and its role in the fentanyl crisis, was the focus of a House roundtable hosted by the Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday.
Burgess and other lawmakers heard stories from parents whose children died after taking a drug containing fentanyl allegedly purchased over Snapchat, which has a popular photo and texting app known for its disappearing messages.
"Big Tech has many problems," said Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer who works on cases seeking to hold tech platforms accountable for often offline harms. "But the lethal fentanyl sales is not a general Big Tech problem. It's a Snap-specific problem. Snap's product is designed specifically to attract both children and illicit adult activity."
Fentanyl seizures along the southwest border from November to December 2022 increased by 52 percent, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
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