Opinion

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Letter

Another Brick in the Wall

Border security encompasses more than just controlling the flow of people

Clearly, building “The Wall” on our southern border is high on President Trump’s agenda, and it should be. There has been a lot of controversy and political rhetoric over expense, feasibility, etc. Often the rhetoric turns to marginalizing the president and his supporters as xenophobes, racists, or worse.

Whether The Wall is meant to be a real, physical barrier or a combination of electronic tools and boots on the ground, border security is of paramount importance to the continuation of the United States of America as we know it. We simply must know who is crossing our borders and why. Like it or not, there are people who hate America and hate Americans and will take advantage of easy access.

Border security encompasses more than just controlling the flow of people. As a military veteran who has run counter drug operations, I have seen the harm and devastation of serious drugs firsthand. Methamphetamine is a big problem crossing the southern border that is directly affecting virtually every community in the great state of Montana independent from refugees, illegal immigrants, or potential terrorists.

Montana is being demonstrably harmed by the free flow of Mexican methamphetamine into our state. This high-quality meth is finding its way into our cities, towns, communities, and reservations. It is not only wreaking havoc by tearing apart families and destroying lives, but the associated crime is terrorizing our neighborhoods that are indirectly affected by this horribly addictive drug.

Our men and women in law enforcement are undermanned and stretched to the limit dealing with drug dealers, users, and the associated crime. We are all paying to house perpetrators in prison, and the meth crisis costs the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Recidivism is high as we are not adequately helping those being released after incarceration, even though incarceration costs seven times more than treatment. If they don’t have adequate family, rehabilitation, or church support, there are few options available for addicts.

Whatever form The Wall ends up taking, we must secure our border and stop not just the inflow of illegal immigrants, but also the flow of high-grade meth from Mexico that is ruining lives, devastating communities, taxing our law enforcement, and threatening our neighbors.

Troy Downing
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

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