April 25, 2018

Cassidy, Baldwin Introduce Legislation Targeting Foreign Mail Containing Illicit Opioids

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Search Now, Inspect for Fentanyl (SNIFF) Act to allow specially trained U.S. postal workers at U.S. International Service Centers to search mail from foreign countries destined for the U.S. when there is probable cause to believe they contain illicit opioids such as fentanyl or other illegal drugs.

“China is the main source of the lethal drug fentanyl that is flooding our streets and killing Americans,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Right now, if a postal worker in one of these facilities processing foreign mail suspects a package contains illegal drugs, they can’t do a thing about it. This bill will improve our ability to intercept these drugs before they take more lives in Louisiana or around the country.”

“The opioid epidemic is devastating families and communities throughout Wisconsin, and one way to help prevent this is to stop illicit drugs like fentanyl from coming into our country,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation with Senator Cassidy to help stop the flow of illegal drugs into America from other countries like China. We need to continue to advance this and other commonsense solutions to strengthen our response to the opioid epidemic and save lives.”

Under the legislation, only mail from foreign countries addressed to the U.S. is subject to being searched, and only after probable cause is established. Regular post offices would not have the authority to search mail; the searches could only be conducted by specially trained employees at the five International Service Centers located in New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Yesterday, Cassidy and Baldwin introduced the Restricting Entrance and Strengthening the Requirements on Import Controls for Trafficking (RESTRICT) Illicit Drugs Act, which would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) more tools to prevent illegal drugs from entering the country by mail through International Mail Facilities.