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Border crisis fuels NC overdose deathsFree Access

Ken Fontenot

As many of you may note, I usually do not comment on federal issues. There are several reasons for this. First, I think it is a waste of my time and yours to complain about something that realistically, I have little control over. Second, the world is full of enough complainers. I believe criticism is an important part of the creative process, but criticism alone doesn’t get much solved.

Recently, however, I attended a briefing that opened my eyes to how one very significant federal policy is beginning to have negative consequences on our state. According to the research shared by my colleague, we are beginning to see the edge of an iceberg that our nation and state is going to collide with. This issue has three very real and imminent dangers. This lethal triple threat can be described as trafficking, terrorism and tax fraud, waste and abuse.

And what is driving this three-headed Cerberus beast that is looking to devour our country?

It is the executive office’s intentional neglect of our southern border.

This past week, I learned several things. First, I learned that North Carolina, by some estimates, is the eighth- or ninth-largest state in our nation. At the same time, North Carolina is also ranked ninth for human trafficking. Each day, children and teenagers are funneled into North Carolina to fulfill the base appetites of monsters who deserve to be in graves or cages. These little boys and girls are not brought here through our ports or northern border. They come across the southern border.

Not only that, but many of state’s law enforcement officers estimate that 90% to 95% of the illegal drugs in our state come across the Mexican border.  

And this tragedy has real, long-lasting and permanent consequences. For instance, it’s estimated that North Carolina saw about 3,000 fentanyl overdoses in 2020. That amount has nearly tripled since the Biden administration took office, with some estimating about 11,000 fentanyl overdose deaths in 2023. 

In Wilson alone, I have sat down with more than one mother who lost her precious baby to fentanyl. In each case, their children were under the guise that they were purchasing something other than fentanyl.

Drugs aren’t the only thing flowing across our border. Several terrorists on the international wanted list have been nabbed. Each day, masses of single, military-age men enter our country unaccounted for. Over the last four years, we have gradually allowed a real and present danger to fester and grow.

Lastly, the solutions posed by our state and national officials have been egregious and disgusting. For instance, governors, mayors and other officials across our nation have funneled American tax dollars into immigrant care. Meanwhile, the poverty level across our country continues to rise to alarming heights as the everyday citizen battles a recession and inflation. 

Even at the border, the Biden administration hands out tax dollars to those breaking our sovereign law. Yet, if you or I fail to pay an IRS bill, we will be taken to court, fined or thrown in jail. This mockery of justice sounds so preposterous in writing that one would think it’s satire or comedy. Unfortunately, it is not.

What can we do? 

The main thing we can do is assist the state of Texas in securing our border. Currently, there are more than 130 North Carolinians working with Texas authorities on our southern border. I believe our governor should mobilize our National Guard to the Texas border to aid the beleaguered Border Patrol and Texas state officials. We have hundreds of miles of border and not nearly enough personnel to secure it.

For instance, one of the common tactics used by drug traffickers is to send a large caravan of people at one point along the unsecured border to overwhelm the patrols. While the patrols are busy attempting to corral these people, at another point in the border, traffickers and terrorists cross uninhibited. 

This problem wasn’t created overnight and won’t be fixed overnight. However, it can be fixed, and it must be fixed. I assure I will do all in my power to encourage federal intervention and state participation.

Ken Fontenot represents Wilson County and Nash County’s Sharpsburg precinct in the N.C. House. Contact him at 919-733-5898 or


Click on the bolded, hyperlinked headlines listed below to read Rep. Ken Fontenot’s previously published columns. Each link will open in a new browser tab or window.

Pilot paused career to fight in WWII

Legislature belongs to the people

Hamas defenders are modern-day Holocaust deniers

School health clinics: Just what the doctor ordered

Families struggle with health care access

Savvy investments in Wilson’s future

Convictions matter more than partisan labels

Regulating kratom will prevent senseless tragedies

Voter ID doesn’t disenfranchise minorities

• ‘Dead daughter or living son’ a false choice

Reversing brain drain for Wilson’s future

NC public schools’ future is bright

School choice opens doors of opportunity

Gender surgery divides LGBTQ community

15,000 reasons to preserve male, female sports

Political semantics? Words have meanings

‘All lives matter’ includes the unborn

Follow history’s lesson on medical experiments

‘Gender-affirming care’ needs age limit

Bullying has no place in politics

CRT ignores America’s greatness

Critical race theory is flawed, divisive

Crackdown on dangerous drug can save lives

Improving outcomes in deaf, blind education

Nothing racist about deterring riots

Don’t pit schools against parents 

Doctors, teachers shouldn’t undermine parents 

Medicaid gap is a bureaucratic bungle 

These Lions roar for opportunity 

Studying Medicaid expansion with an open mind