November 8, 2012
Many people do not realize the amount of illegal narcotics entering the United States from Mexico. The illegal narcotics affect many different people and organizations. The illegal narcotics affect every person by their wallet, and the many different types of laws that many people do not agree with. Illegal narcotics entering the United States from Mexico has a great affect on people who use them, and those who do not.
The cost of operations to control and prevent the amount of illegal narcotics each year is un-imaginable. The cost of law enforcement and the technology used is tremendous. Each year the Border Patrol has an operational budget of 1.4 billion dollars. (Fisher) That is just one law enforcement agency’s budget, even though the Border Patrol is the largest Government operated law enforcement agency this is only a fraction of what it really costs the United States government to control the border from illegal narcotics. El Centro Sector Border Patrol Chief Villareal stated, “Out of the 1.4 billion dollar budget the Border Patrol nationwide only has 220 million dollars to use on technology and equipment to use for this year’s budget.” (Villareal, Personal Communication, 2012) Chief Villareal also stated, “With every year that passes the budget will get worse due to people getting raises, and that money will be taken out of the 1.4 billion dollars.” (Villareal, Personal Communication, 2012) With that money the agency purchaces new vehicles, spike strips, night vision goggles etc. The Border Patrol budget is not going to be revised until 2016, so the Border Patrol is forced to take measures that inhibit them to do their job to their full potential. This is just a small amount of what it really cost to operate the Border between the United States and Mexico.
The other major cost of operations is medical billing. Medical billing is a major cost to the United States because we have to provide medical treatment for the drug smugglers that are entering the United States that may be injured or sick. While we treat them, the drug smugglers do not have insurance so we as American citizens have to pay for their medical bills with our tax money. Not only do we have to pay for the bills we also have to pay for an agent to watch the individual while he or she is getting treated, for the risk the detainee might escape or hurt hospital staff. According to the California Hospital Association (CHA), illegal aliens cost hospitals across the state about $1.25 billion a year in unpaid medical care. (Cherline, 2011) That is just one state along the border, and California has one of the lowest amount of illegal immigrants and drugs crossing along the border of the United States and Mexico.
There are many different types of drugs entering the United States from Mexico. The most common drug that I come across in my daily duties as a Border Patrol agent is Marijuana. Many people believe that this drug is not harmful and that it should be legalized. Every year the Marijuana drug trade kills thousands of people in Mexico and in the United States. Drug organizations that smuggle this drug into the United States use Americans to distribute the drug throughout the United States. In return, the Cartels and drug organizations request weapons for the drugs. Everyday there are weapons and money going south into Mexico to support the cartels operations. After the cartels receive the weapons and money, they use them to extort Mexican Officials and American citizens. Marijuana is not the only drug coming across the border; some other illegal narcotics are cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin. All three of those drugs are highly addictive. The use of these drugs greatly affects all Americans because of the amount of people over dosing and needing medical treatment to get off the drug.