During the opening moments of yesterday's House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the opioid epidemic, Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA) said fentanyl is being smuggled across the Mexican border through extraordinary means.
Most of the fentanyl is being smuggled from Mexico into the country "through the porous border" by foot, by car, and even by "launching it through catapults and drones into the U.S.," Murphy said.
Many of the people who died of drug overdoses in Pennsylvania didn't even realize they were ingesting the powerful painkiller, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, he said.
"Users don't even know the fentanyl is in the heroin," he said. "We are flying blind."
This is not an outlandish claim. Catapults and other improvised devices have been used to smuggle items across the border, but Trump's fantasy border wall will do nothing to stop any of it. Trump's wall will only spur further innovation in the field of smuggling.
And yet Trump and has allies have already used drugs, and the opioid epidemic specifically, as a justification for building a wall. Congressmen like Tim Murphy will also almost certainly point toward the opioid crisis if they cast a vote to fund the wall.
If anti-drone countermeasures and netting designed to catch catapult-launched parcels are added to the list of requirements for Trump's pretty wall, you can also add another billion dollars to the cost.
Actually, under the guidelines released by Customs and Border Patrol, catapults and drones may not even be necessary. The guidelines say the wall must be difficult to climb without a ladder so, if you have a ladder, that may be enough.