Illicit Drug Smuggling Between Ports of Entry and Border Barriers [February 7, 2020]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Document: "Policy discussions around border security often involve questions about how illicit drugs flow into the United States. These include questions about the smugglers, types and quantities of illicit drugs crossing U.S. borders, primary entry points, and methods by which drugs are smuggled. Further, these discussions often center on the shared U.S.-Mexico border, as it is a major conduit through which illicit drugs flow. There are no comprehensive data on the total quantity of foreign-produced illicit drugs smuggled into the United States at or between official ports of entry (POEs) because these are drugs that have generally evaded seizure by border officials. In lieu of these data, officials, policymakers, and analysts sometimes rely on certain drug seizure data to help understand how and where illicit drugs are crossing U.S. borders. Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) indicate that, by weight, more marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl were seized at POEs than between them in FY2019. While available indicators suggest that drug seizures are more concentrated at POEs, it is the flow of drugs 'between' them that have been a primary topic of recent policy discussions around border security."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46218
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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