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Press Release

Biden’s Border Crisis Enables Criminal Cartels to Flourish in Tribal Communities

  • OI Subcommittee

Today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on how President Joe Biden’s open border policies have enabled international criminal cartel activity on Indian lands across the United States. The hearing also examined how federal and tribal law enforcement agencies are working to address these problems, despite the obvious roadblock of a porous border. Subcommittee Chairman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) issued the following statement in response:

"Joe Biden has surrendered control of our borders to the criminal cartels and drug lords. As a result, roughly 29 tons of fentanyl has poured into our country in the past three years, destroying loved ones and wreaking havoc on neighborhoods across the country. Indian Country has been especially hard hit, where the cartels have exploited vulnerable tribal communities, leading to widespread addiction and drug-related crimes on Indian lands. The violence associated with drug trafficking has further strained tribal resources, as tribal authorities struggle to combat organized crime and maintain public safety. The federal government must do more to ensure these communities are protected from the criminal elements that have infiltrated indigenous communities since Joe Biden took office."


Biden’s failed immigration policies have made every community a border community as illegal migrants and criminals spread throughout the United States. International criminal cartels weaponize the administration’s weak and ineffective border policies to traffic illegal drugs and people across the U.S./Mexico border.

In a recent Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on April 10, 2024, witnesses provided shocking testimony depicting a dire situation in Indian Country. Criminal cartels have placed tribes under constant threat and enlisted tribal and non-tribal residents to distribute illegal drugs within Indian communities. Fentanyl and meth are poised to devastate entire Indian communities, leading to rampant addiction and overdoses and an increase in violent crimes such as homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault and robbery.

Tribal leaders and representatives also expressed their disappointment in federal law enforcement efforts to eradicate the cartels’ presence on Indian lands. One witness even spoke to how tribal members face death threats and intimidation to prevent them from speaking out. 

Today’s hearing examined the challenges and opportunities for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security to collaborate with tribal and local law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute cartel activities on Indian lands, ensuring these communities are secured and protected against coercive activities.

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