• Date : March 14th, 2022
  • Author : Joe DeStefano

With another wave of deaths across Suffolk County from Fentanyl and other illicit drugs, Assemblyman Joseph DeStefano has called on the state’s new governor, Kathleen Hochul, to create a special commission to combat the growing epidemic.

“As one of her first acts as our new chief executive, I’m calling on Gov. Hochul to find out how these lethal drugs are getting into our state and create a battle plan with all branches of law enforcement to stop them,” DeStefano said. “A lethal batch of cocaine laced with Fentanyl caused at least eight overdoses and six deaths in Suffolk over the last week with more people dying every day. We need to act fast to save lives.”

According to DeStefano, an obvious place to look is the open border between the U.S. and Mexico which has been an unrestricted route for illegal immigrants, human trafficking and drugs. “We need to take a stand now to stop the flow of people and contraband over our border and into our communities,” DeStefano. “We need our new governor to take this issue head on and elevate our concerns to a national audience. Deadly narcotics are pouring into our country from the open border and are killing our children, friends and neighbors. We need to stand together and stop it.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported a dramatic increase in border encounters this year and videos show anyone and anything coming into the country unquestioned, DeStefano pointed out. “Is this the entry point of the Fentanyl, cocaine and other drugs that are destroying our communities?” the Assemblyman asked. “We are at a crisis level and I’m calling on Gov. Hochul to help us find some answers.”

The commission should consist of local law enforcement, state and federal drug interdiction agencies and representatives of Border Protection to give New Yorkers the facts they need to put together a comprehensive action plan,” DeStefano said. “We know something is killing us; we just need to find out how it’s getting here and put a stop to it.”

To also better protect New Yorkers, DeStefano asked the governor to intervene on the free flow of unvaccinated and untested immigrants coming over the border and ending up in the state. “We need to know how many border crossers are being transported to our state and how the COVID precautions are being applied,” DeStefano said. “Our freedoms—the ability to dine out, travel, worship, go to school, shop, and live our lives—were severely restricted during the pandemic. We were compelled to stay away from each other, wear masks, get tested and get vaccinated. Are these same requirements being made of the people who are illegally crossing into the United States from countries all over the world?” DeStefano asked. “I believe it is incumbent on the new governor to help us find out and this special commission will be an important first step.”

A primary role of government is keeping the public safe,” DeStefano concluded. “With all that’s going on with drug overdoses and the crisis at the border, New York’s leaders need to make public safety their top priority.”