Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn made the comments on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday, adding that there has been a 50% rise in fatal overdoses in his county.
Waybourn stressed that fentanyl “is a clear and present threat.”
He made the statements ahead Trump’s scheduled visit to the U.S.-Mexico border with Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Trump and Abbott will participate in a town hall on “Hannity,” airing at 9:00 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel Wednesday.
Trump described the border as an “unmitigated disaster zone.” The president said in a press release that he had accepted Abbott’s invitation to visit the “decimated” border, a deteriorating situation that he attributed to the Biden administration’s decisions to reverse many of his immigration policies.
President Biden scrapped a number of his predecessor’s immigration policies, which included wall construction and having asylum seekers remain in Mexico instead of in the U.S. while they wait for their cases to be heard. The moves have led to a record surge in migrants, including unaccompanied minors, that has strained capacity at immigration facilities.
“My briefing will be specifically [that] what is coming across the border doesn’t stay on the border,” Waybourn told host Ainsley Earhardt, noting that one of the major hubs for drugs and human trafficking “is the Dallas–Fort Worth area where it goes north and up.”
He said that he will be specifically talking about “the threat of fentanyl to our country” with Trump on Wednesday, calling the threat “incredibly serious.”
“What we’re seeing is even the low-level dealers have ample amount of fentanyl that they’re lacing heroin in, they’re lacing designer drugs that the kids often use,” Waybourn explained, noting that those between the ages of 16 and 24 are “who we’re losing to this.”‘
He stressed that fentanyl “looks like a safe drug” because “they’re using pill presses and it looks like this isn’t any more dangerous than marijuana or a prescription drug,” but “it’s deadly.”
Trump’s visit to the southern border comes five days after Vice President Kamala Harris visited El Paso, Texas, nearly 100 days after being appointed by President Biden to address the immigration crisis at the southern border.
During a press conference, Harris touted “progress” made by the Biden administration in tackling the migrant surge despite inheriting a “tough situation” due to the “disastrous effects” of the Trump administration’s border policies.
When asked why she visited El Paso, instead of areas that have been more acutely hit, like the Rio Grande Valley Sector, Harris explained that El Paso was where a number of Trump policies, like the Remain-in-Mexico policy and child separation policies, were implemented.
Reacting to Harris’ statements on Friday Waybourn said, “We’re having huge loads of drugs that are being seized so there hasn’t been any progress.”
“The border is open,” he stressed, warning that “we have got a crisis on the border and that crisis is growing throughout America.”
Fox News’ Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.