The federal government’s most important responsibility is ensuring the safety of the American people. With terrorists intent on harming peace-loving Americans, a secure border is fundamental to keeping that promise. Arizona’s extensive border with Mexico makes it uniquely vulnerable to border security threats, making it imperative that our representatives in Washington tirelessly advocate for maximizing border security through all means available. First and foremost, we must:
- Enforce existing immigration laws
- Support hard working, dedicated border patrol agents working to do their job
- Ensure the border patrol has the equipment and technology necessary to win
Immigration - Close to my heart.
In 1904, my grandfather came to America as a stowaway from Italy when he was only 8 years old. He had no family, spoke no English, and had no education. Never knowing his own birthday, he celebrated it on the 4th of July as a tribute to the nation which offered him so much opportunity. Although he was never able to attend school, through hard work and perseverance he realized the American Dream: marrying his sweetheart, owning a home, and raising three successful children.
Our immigration policy has changed a lot since then, and so has the opportunity to achieve the American Dream; and it hasn’t been for the better! Through a hapless immigration policy, laws are unenforced, honest people are forced into the shadows, and criminals are brazenly harbored in sanctuary cities.
Our security and our economy require immediate action. A porous border permits terrorists to enter our country more easily than would-be workers. It’s past time that we get our immigration policy on track. That means ensuring those who mean us harm stay out and those that will help grow our economy and are eager to adopt the American way of life can enter. America remains the world’s destination of choice. A smart and thoughtful immigration policy will keep America safe and provide the workforce to rekindle the American Dream for those already here and those yet to come.
Opioid Epidemic - Communities in Arizona and across America are seeing their social fabric unraveled by the scourge of the opioid epidemic.
The numbers are staggering. Each year we are losing as many Americans to opioid overdose than we lost during the entire Vietnam War. Just last month (June 15 – June 22), 191 suspected opioid overdoses were reported in Arizona alone leading to 15 tragic fatalities in our state.1 This growing pandemic led to 790 deaths in our state last year – the highest annual total in Arizona’s history.2
This violent killer is largely a potent synthetic narcotic known as fentanyl. The Department of Homeland Security has identified two sources for this illicit fentanyl threat: China and Mexico. Labs in China illicitly produce the drug, 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and ship it to Mexico. Ruthless drug cartels exploit this lucrative trade to kill Americans and devastate survivors. A single cartel purchase of $3,000 -$5,000 of fentanyl sells for $1.5 million on the illicit market; making it even more profitable than heroin.
According to a recent hearing by the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Committee, most of the fentanyl is being smuggled across a “porous border” with Mexico. Trafficking occurs by foot, car, drone, or even launched by catapult. Fentanyl also poses a unique risk to our brave law enforcement agents: during apprehension of these smugglers lethal doses can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin.
Our strategy to combat this menace must be multifaceted:
- We must immediately secure our southern border and deny drug cartels access to our communities.
- We must find and prosecute those who launder illicit drug money.
- We must pressure China to crack down on the laboratories that produce these drugs.
As a physician, I know firsthand what a devastating toll this takes on patients and families. In addition to legislative strategies to combat this problem, I’ll ensure that we commit the resources necessary to develop alternative means to prevent patients from becoming addicted to painkillers and to break the cycle of addiction.
1) http://kjzz.org/content/496252/arizona-releases-weekly-opioid-overdose-data; 2) http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-health/2017/06/27/arizona-had-191-opioid-overdoses-15-deaths-last-week/430333001/