WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today Rep. Greg Stanton of Arizona introduced the American Cooperation with Our Neighbors Act, legislation to increase cooperation between law enforcement, local governments, and non-governmental organizations in the United States and Mexico to combat trafficking of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

“The crisis of fentanyl-related deaths in the U.S. has reached a fever pitch that demands a new, comprehensive regional strategy—one that cuts off the supply of fentanyl flowing into our communities while slowing the violence and corruption that trafficking fuels in Mexico,” Stanton, a member of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, said. 

Stanton’s legislation would require the Secretary of State and Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development to submit a strategy to Congress to strengthen and improve: 

  • Law enforcement cooperation at the subnational level, including bolstering technological assistance for agencies, professional development exchanges, and enhanced data sharing;
  • Coordination and dialogue between local governments, civil society, faith-based organizations and business community leaders; 
  • Capacity building and provide additional resources for border towns to meet local needs. 

The legislation includes additional provisions to promote stability and growth in the region, including a feasibility study to use space-based technologies to increase remote, uncensored internet access in Mexico and countries in Central America and the Caribbean where governments block access to information. The bill also directs a review of steps the Department of the Treasury can take to expand access to capital in Caribbean nations, while taking steps to combat the illicit financing of narcotics.   

The bill is scheduled to be considered by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs next Wednesday, April 26. 

Full text is available HERE.