Merrick Garland: ‘Diplomatic Concerns’ with Treating Mexican Drug Cartels as ‘Foreign Terrorist Organizations’

US Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies during a US Senate Judiciary Committee overs
Hector Vivas/LatinContent/STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland says there are “diplomatic concerns” with treating and designating the Mexican drug dartels as “foreign terrorist organizations.”

Due to their near-monopoly of fentanyl trafficking in the United States, senators like Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Rick Scott (R-FL), as well as Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), have sought to have the State Department designate the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations akin to the Islamic State, al-Quaeda, and Boko Haram.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) questioned Garland on whether he would support or oppose lawmakers seeking to classify the cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.

“They are already designated in any number of ways and sanctioned,” Garland said before Graham asked the question again. “I wouldn’t oppose it, but again, I want to point out that there are diplomatic concerns. We need the assistance of Mexico in this.”

Garland also claimed that Mexico is “helping” the U.S. in its fight against the fentanyl crisis, which is killing more than 100,000 Americans annually, but said, “they could do much more, there’s no question about that.”

“Well if this is helping, I would hate to see what not helping looks like,” Graham said.

Last month, 21 attorneys general wrote to Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging them to designate the cartels as foreign terrorist organizations:

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that Mexican drug cartels, including the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), import dangerous raw materials from China, use them to produce deadly synthetic opioids at low cost, and unlawfully transport those opioids into the United States. Between October 2021 and June 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 8,425 pounds of fentanyl being smuggled into the United States. Both the Sinaloa Cartel and the CJNG have expanded their deadly business into Virginia, where fatal overdoses have increased by forty percent since 2021. These foreign drugs have created twin public-health and national-security crises of unparalleled magnitude. [Emphasis added].

As Breitbart News has chronicled, fentanyl deaths have skyrocketed in American border communities as a result of increased drug trafficking at the southern border. In one community, Riverside County, California, fentanyl deaths have increased by more than 800 percent in the last five years.

These soaring fentanyl deaths are not only tied to drug overdoses but also poisonings, as law enforcement says they are finding fentanyl “in everything” from candy to vape pens.

In 2021, almost 110,000 Americans died from drug overdoses and poisonings, including tiny doses of fentanyl where victims were not drug addicts and often in their early teens. Put another way, the U.S. lost a population the size of Dearborn, Michigan last year solely from drugs.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here


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