(Governor’s Office News Release, June 5, 2023)
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – Governor Brad Little visited Coeur d’Alene today to highlight takeaways from his briefing and aerial tour of the Texas-Mexico border two weeks ago and to announce additional steps his administration is taking to fight fentanyl.
“Drug cartels, not Americans, are controlling access into our country. Drug cartels are taking advantage of the chaos at the border to smuggle more fentanyl and other deadly drugs into our communities. The federal government’s open border policies incentivize mass illegal immigration and cartel activity along the border. Our country is experiencing a level of global migration into our country at a rate we cannot come close to keeping up with,” Governor Little said.
Governor Little joined nine fellow governors for a briefing at the border in late May. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Military Department, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas Border Czar participated in a border security briefing with the governors and provided on-the-ground intelligence about the border crisis.
During the Texas briefing, Governor Little received an overview of Texas’ comprehensive Operation Lone Star border security mission and an explanation of the effective tools and strategies the State of Texas has utilized to deter and repel illegal immigration along the southern border. Governor Abbott recognized the states of Idaho and Florida for sending assistance to Texas. Since then, additional states have committed resources to advance Operation Lone Star. A total of 13 states are now providing more than 1,300 guardsmen and more than 230 law enforcement personnel to try to slow the flow of drugs into our country.
Governor Little announced in May he would send two teams of Idaho State Police troopers to Texas to assist and train with Texas DPS. The teams are enhancing their knowledge through varied experiences such as cross-border smuggling, human trafficking, and drug interdiction, and they will return to train other law enforcement agencies in Idaho.
Governor Little also announced today he would assemble a roundtable of legislators, law enforcement, and others in the coming weeks to discuss new ways the State of Idaho can continue to assist neighbor border states and gain additional expertise on drug interdiction in order to protect Idaho communities.
Governor Little recapped the actions the State of Idaho is taking to turn the tide in the fentanyl crisis:
- Idaho launched a campaign, Fentanyl Takes All, to help educate and inform Idahoans, especially our youth and their parents, about the dangers of fentanyl. The Governor’s Office is preparing for an announcement soon about the effectiveness of the Governor’s fentanyl awareness campaign.
- Idaho added more roadside testing equipment to help ISP get fentanyl off our streets more quickly.
- Idaho will add a new statewide drug interdiction team at ISP to intercept fentanyl coming into our state.
- Idaho is improving information sharing between law enforcement, first responders, health care, tribes, coroners and others to tackle the problem strategically.
- Idaho is increasing resources for mental health and behavioral health to help prevent tragedy.
- Governor Little and his administration are continuing to work with border states to help reduce the supply of drugs coming into America across the open border from the drug cartels.
Governor Little’s past actions in support of border security, fight against fentanyl
In September of 2021, Governor Little and dozens of other governors plead the President to listen to them about the need to control the border. The letter followed another request sent by the Governors earlier that year, which also went unanswered.
Following the 15-day period with no response from the Biden administration, the governors released 10 policy solutions the administration could enact immediately to protect America, restore security, and put us on a path to end the crisis at the southern border. The administration never responded, and the border crisis has only become more deadly and dangerous for both Americans and migrants in the time that has passed.
Governor Little sent a team of specialized state troopers to Arizona in 2021 to assist with drug interdiction, and he joined half the nations’ governors in creating the American Governors’ Border Strike Force. He also joined a lawsuit challenging Biden’s Title 42 border decision.
Governor Little also hosted a roundtable with Idaho law enforcement in 2021 to discuss Idaho’s growing drug threat and the connection to the U.S.-Mexico border, and he created Operation Esto Perpetua in March of 2022 to protect our children from drugs.
In 2022, Governor Little recommended and the Legislature approved $250,000 to carry out objectives of the initiative, and he directed another $1 million that summer to fight the deadly impacts of fentanyl.
Governor Little launched a campaign, Fentanyl Takes All, to help educate and inform Idahoans, especially our youth and their parents, about the dangers of fentanyl.
Governor Little also requested and the Legislature approved adding more roadside testing equipment to help ISP get fentanyl off our streets more quickly. Idaho will add a new statewide drug interdiction team at ISP to intercept fentanyl coming into our state, and Idaho is improving information sharing between law enforcement, first responders, health care, tribes, coroners and others to tackle the problem strategically. Idaho is also increasing resources for mental health and behavioral health to help prevent tragedy.
Governor Little joined 23 other governors in May in vocalizing their support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s plea to the nation’s governors to support the state’s efforts to secure the border. He traveled to Texas in May for a briefing and aerial tour of the border crisis and committed two teams of ISP troopers to assist and train with Texas DPS.