President Trump doubled down Thursday on his demand for a border wall, warning of the growing threat of drug cartels and criminal gangs he said have “literally taken over towns and cities of the United States.”
Emerging from a meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, whose country has struggled for years with cartel-fueled violence, Mr. Trump said drug crime has become a “dangerous threat to our societies.” He called for international cooperation in pursuing smugglers and for infrastructure to keep them out of the U.S. in the first place.
“The drug epidemic is poisoning too many American lives, and we’re going to stop it in many different ways. One of them will be the wall,” Mr. Trump said.
Even though illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border appears to be down dramatically under Mr. Trump, the flow of drugs remains high — with heroin and other serious narcotics surging.
The changes suggest that Mr. Trump’s get-tough approach inside the U.S. has deterred would-be migrants but that cartels continue their smuggling operations freely.
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