WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) is reintroducing the Homeland Security Fentanyl Enforcement Act of 2023, which would authorize Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative unit of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with full Title 21 authority for five years, subject to reauthorization.
With a force of 6,000 special agents, HSI is the primary DHS agency responsible for investigating transnational crime, including human smuggling, money laundering, gun trafficking, and transnational gang activity. Under current statute, HSI agents are limited by a reliance on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to investigate Title 21 crimes.
Congressman Higgins’ bill was developed in consultation with frontline DHS law enforcement officers. This legislation would provide independent authority to empower HSI to employ its extensive knowledge of cartels and other criminal networks to engage in drug interdiction.
“Criminal cartels have control of our southern border and we need every resource available to restore law and order,” said Congressman Higgins. “Due to bureaucratic constraints, HSI lacks the independent statutory authority to enforce drug crimes and target these transnational criminal organizations. It’s absurd. This common-sense bill adds thousands of highly skilled federal law enforcement officers to lead the fight against drug trafficking at no cost to the American taxpayers. We must work to keep deadly drugs out of our communities and keep America’s borders safe.”
Read the legislation here.