Dynasty Chavez and Cesar Mendiola walk away after looking at the scene Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Antonio where dozens of migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer on Monday after being abandoned in the sweltering heat. It's the latest tragedy to claim the lives of migrants smuggled across the border from Mexico to the U.S. Credit: Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman via AP

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If we are truly serious about saving lives, we can take a first step by securing our southern border. In the current headlines,   more than 50 people, smuggled across the border from Mexico, died after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer.

For years, cartel smuggling organizations have been   abandoning migrants in remote and dangerous areas. People are dying in the extreme heat this time of year.   At least 650 people died attempting to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. in 2021. There were 12,854 Border Patrol rescues   this past fiscal year, the previous high was in 2019, with 5,335 rescues.

Then there is a main killer, fentanyl. It’s found in much of the drugs   smuggled into the United States. Mexico and China are the   primary sources for this flow of fentanyl. More adults between 18 and 45 died of   fentanyl overdoses in 2020 than COVID-19, motor vehicle accidents, cancer, and suicide. Border authorities have seized   more 11,000 pounds of fentanyl in the year 2021, this dwarfs the   4,776 pounds seized in fiscal 2020. We are set to break records this year.

Thanks to most agencies in Maine having widespread distribution of the reversal drug Narcan, in the 8,000 overdoses reported in Maine last year,   93 percent were not fatal.

And finally, U.S. Border Patrol have   captured violent MS-13 gang members,   suspected terrorists on the watch list, and   child sex traffickers. Most of these evading arrest at the border by exploiting the influx of migrants. This is one thing we can fix now, saving lives.

Terry Shortt