Our 50-State Border Crisis: How the Mexican Border Fuels the Drug Epidemic Across America

Howard Buffett, philanthropist and law enforcement officer, knows from personal experience what the Mexico-U.S. border crisis looks like. He regularly sees unauthorized immigrants crossing his ranch lands in Arizona. In this well-written, in-depth analysis, Buffett links the U.S. drug epidemic to the use of the border by Mexican drug cartels. Politicians may consider them separate issues, but Buffett's discussions with ranchers, migrants, Border Patrol and other law enforcement officials show readers that the two are inextricably entwined. As long as there is demand for drugs in the U.S., the Mexican cartels will find a way to get them here, whether by using human "mules," shooting packages across open fields with T-shirt cannons, digging extensive tunnels or dropping the drugs by plane.

Buffett reflects on why so many migrants flee their native countries--many are starving or have faced such extreme violence and death threats that the dangerous trek across desert lands where they face heat stroke, dehydration and rape seems like the lesser of the evils. He suggests Mexico step up and enforce stricter rules on the cartels, and that the U.S. help. He touches on the American pharmaceutical industry's role in the drug crisis, but doesn't hit them with any real force. He also considers the effects a full border wall would have on nature and animal migrations. His book is not a call-to-action, per se, but rather a way to open much-needed discussions on how to resolve this multifaceted problem. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

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