Montana Attorney General and candidate for governor Tim Fox is touring the southern U.S. Border this week. He describes it an eye-opening experience.
Fox, the chief law enforcement officer of a northern tier state, says he felt it important to personally visit the nation’s southern border.
“The reason I wanted to do that is we have a crisis in Montana with substance use and abuse disorders that are going on." He says, "They’ve gotten worse in recent years and one of the primary drivers has been methamphetamine.”
Law enforcement says the vast majority of meth entering the United States, some of which enters Montana, is produced by Mexican cartels.
Fox says he wants to understand the problem it from the perspective of the individuals in law enforcement.
Fox and Montana Highway Patrol Chief Tom Butler are touring portions of the southern border, including ports of entry, with members of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Customs and Border Protection:
“What I’m told is that in years past, the primary individual who sought to cross the southern border illegally was a Mexican male, but not in large groups like a thousand which they’ve recently seen trying to cross the border all at once.”
Fox says these surges of people illegally crossing the southern border into the U.S is sapping resources that might otherwise be used to stop drugs: He says officials have, "had to divert resources from the northern border to address the southern border crisis. And that affects their ability on the northern border to do their work as well.”
Fox, who’s seeking Montana’s Republican gubernatorial nomination defended the trip, which is being paid for by the state. “The cost of this trip was a couple of plane tickets and a hotel room," he said. "It pales in comparison to the things that we’ve learned and the ability to sort through the rhetoric. It really, actually is priceless.”
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte toured the southern border in January. State Senator Al Olszewski is also seeking the GOP nomination for the governor’s race.