DHS failure to release records on delayed implementation of anti-fentanyl legislation draws lawsuit

DHS is keeping records from the public regarding their failures to put 2018 law to work

October 3, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced transparency litigation against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for failing to release records regarding the Synthetics Trafficking Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act and its implementation.

In October 2018, the bipartisan STOP Act was signed into law to reduce the flow of opioids and other illegal drugs into the United States through the U.S. Postal Service, which had become an easy target for traffickers seeking to evade law enforcement. As America’s opioid epidemic harms millions of American families and remains a leading cause of overdoses in the United States, implementation of the STOP Act has appeared to stall. Bureaucratic delays and missing deadlines for almost four years has raised questions about the commitment by DHS to prioritizing the fight against fentanyl trafficking and the opioid crisis afflicting a growing number of Americans.

Elected officials from both sides of the aisle have called the opioid crisis a public health emergency, yet DHS has taken little action to implement the law meant to fight it. Along with slow walking implementation of the STOP Act, DHS’ lax illegal immigration policies have created another crisis at the southern border that has likely exacerbated the opioid crisis. The wishes of Special interest groups pushing for open borders appear to trump concerns over a years-long opioid crisis devastating American families. It’s clear from the agency’s response that taking DHS to court is the only way FGI will be able to pry loose records shedding light on the failure to act on this important issue.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“The inability of DHS to finalize regulations and fully implement a bill that would help stop the flow of illegal opioids into the United States is astonishing and frankly disappointing. With each passing day, more and more Americans lose their battle with addiction while Secretary Mayorkas and his senior leadership prioritize the open border and censorship of Americans. This is the epitome of dysfunctional government. The public deserves answers on why implementation of the STOP Act is not a priority and when we can expect them to start recognizing the importance of fighting the opioid crisis.”