WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, a senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, visited Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras this past week as part of a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip where she spoke with foreign officials about economic and public safety priorities – and in particular the need to crack down on fentanyl and other drug trafficking. She was joined by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and U.S. Representatives Jerry Carl (R-AL), Lou Correa (D-CA), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Adrian Smith (R-NE), and Don Beyer (D-VA).
Click here for photos of the Congressional Delegation trip.
“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Mexican, Guatemalan, and Honduran government and law enforcement officials, as well as visit with workers, businesses, and civil society leaders, during our bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip,” said Senator Hassan. “One important focus of our trip was on drug trafficking – as New Hampshire continues to see overdoses from fentanyl and other deadly drugs that come through the countries that we visited, I pressed government and law enforcement officials in these countries on the importance of cracking down on drug trafficking. We also discussed economic development efforts and trade between our countries, and the need to continue working together to address migration challenges in a humane and secure way.”
The bipartisan delegation met with key leaders in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. Highlights included that the delegation met with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in Mexico to discuss a variety of pressing topics between the two countries, including drug trafficking, migration issues, and trade. The next day, the delegation met with officials from Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office – including the counterpart of the United States’ FBI director – and Senator Hassan pressed Mexico’s senior law enforcement officials to improve cooperation between their two countries in order to crack down on illegal fentanyl trafficking. Senator Hassan raised similar concerns with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei during the delegation’s visit to the country. In Guatemala and Honduras, the delegation visited centers that work with migrant families and survivors of sex trafficking to support them in their home communities. In Honduras, the delegation also met with the country’s counternarcotics unit to better understand drug trafficking trends and ways to better prevent drug trafficking.
Leading up to the trip, Senator Hassan met with New Hampshire state, local, and federal law enforcement leaders to learn more about the ways in which drug trafficking is impacting New Hampshire as well as the strategies necessary to combat the unlawful sale and distribution of deadly drugs both at home and internationally. She brought priorities raised in this meeting to the Congressional Delegation trip this past week.
This trip builds on Senator Hassan’s bipartisan work to strengthen border security and crack down on drug trafficking. The Senator has visited the U.S.-Mexico border three times as a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and has worked to increase funding for border security. The Senator successfully worked to secure her bipartisan measure in the 2021 year-end funding bill to hold countries such as China accountable for facilitating America’s fentanyl-fueled substance misuse crisis. Senator Hassan also worked with her colleagues to pass into law the bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which has provided critical tools to Customs and Border Protection to help detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids. Additionally, Senator Hassan recently joined her colleagues on both sides of the aisle in introducing legislation to direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to update its policies at least once every three years to ensure drug interdiction guidance is up to date.