President Donald Trump last Wednesday signed into law HR 2142, the “International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology Act” (INTERDICT Act), which requires U.S. Customs and Border Protection to increase the number of chemical screening devices used to interdict fentanyl and other narcotics illegally imported into the United States. The act, with a $9 million appropriation, calls for dedicating the appropriate number of personnel to interpret data collected by the devices.
U.S. Senator Edward Markey (D.– Mass.) authored the bill that received wide bipartisan support. At the Oval Office signing, Markey noted that of the 2,000-plus people in Massachusetts that died from opioid overdoses in 2016, approximately 1,700 had fentanyl in their systems.
Trump presented Markey with the pen he used to sign the bill. The next day, Markey tweeted a picture of the signing and handshake, and wrote, “THIS is the kind of border security we should be investing in, not wasting $18 billion on an ineffective wall that would stand as a symbol of hate.”