We had a chance to talk with Montana Senator Steve Daines earlier today and asked him what he felt were the biggest issues facing Montanans in 2024 and the Senator was quick to answer that crime and drug abuse were easily our biggest problem, blaming the Mexican cartels for it's availability and resulting crime and addiction in Montana.

"I think certainly looking at what's going on with violent crime and drugs, the violent crime around our state is significantly increasing and that's tied right to drugs, and that is tied to the Mexican cartels," Daines told us adding that current policies and an overwhelmed Border Patrol are only adding to a problem that could possibly grow to include acts of terrorism.  "The problem is that cartels have command and control now of our Southern border.  That's the big problem.  We've had over 8 million crossings since Joe Biden took office, many of these are on the FBI terror watch list.  They're from countries that are designated as state-sponsors of terror, places like Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Iran.  And while the cartels are getting all of these folks, charging them $3,000 to $5000 each to come across the Southern border, it just absolutely overwhelms Border Patrol who are trying to stop the drugs."

The root of the problem, according to Daines is our court system and policies that offer little, if any, oversight of illegal immigrants and potential terrorists and adds to the frustration of current law-enforcement officials.  "The real problem and the core issue is that the Biden administration has reversed policies that President Trump had in place when he was President that dis-incentivized people from coming across the Southern Border," adding that, "Biden's policies allow you to come across the Southern border, declare asylum with a very, very low standard of declaration of asylum, and then our border patrol agents process them and give them a court date which is sometimes 3 to 5 years in the future."  He said they are rarely heard from again.  "That's called 'catch and release'.  That is one of the big problems that is driving what's happening at the Southern border.

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Gallery Credit: Gallery Credit: Tommy O/Townsquare Media

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