Millions of dollars in fentanyl scanners sit unused, putting lives at risk

State-of-the-art fentanyl scanning equipment, valued in the millions, sits unused at the southern border due to Congress’s failure to pass a bipartisan border security bill, reports NBC News. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) purchased the NII screeners, but the money to install the screeners was in the supplemental funding request Republicans blocked. 

“We do have technology that’s in the warehouse that has been tested. But we need approximately $300 million [to] actually put the technology in the ground,” CBP Commissioner Troy Miller told NBC News. “It’s extremely frustrating.”

Several lawmakers and public officials are calling on Congress to find a way to fund the machines. Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes sent a letter to the state’s Congressional delegation, emphasizing the urgency of the matter.

“The failure of Congress to fund the installation of this much-needed technology is irresponsible and negligent,” said Attorney General Mayes. “Congress needs to get its act together and fast because Arizona lives are at risk. My office will continue to fight the drug cartels aggressively, but we need our elected representatives to step up and do their part to protect our communities, too.”

As Emily’s Hope previously reported, more than half of all fentanyl entering the United States is coming through Arizona. California follows closely, accounting for 46.3% of the fentanyl inflow, while Texas and New Mexico’s numbers pale in comparison, registering a mere 1% of drug seizures.