Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) wants to declare war — but not against a country.
The Republican lawmaker said Thursday that she is “drafting a Declaration of War against the Mexican cartels,” even though the last formal declaration of war by Congress occurred during World War II and the Constitution only permits declarations of war against actual nations.
Greene espoused her misinformed strategy to Charlie Kirk, the far-right founder of the conservative student group Turning Point USA. She said on his podcast that she “would like to get Washington to realize who our real enemy is.”
“Who’s responsible for 300 Americans dying every single day from fentanyl, who’s responsible for a multibillion-dollar human trafficking and drug trafficking industry that directly affects the United States of America,” said Greene. “That is the Mexican cartels.”
She added: “So, I am currently drafting a declaration of war against the Mexican cartels.”
Greene claimed she wasn’t targeting the Mexican government or people before calling a recent influx of migrants — many of them asylum-seekers — an “invasion.” She then declared: “Our country is under attack.”
Her conflation of cartel members with migrants spurred strong social media backlash. It’s also inaccurate: Nearly all of the illicit fentanyl seized at the border is being smuggled by either U.S. citizens or other people authorized to enter the U.S., NPR reported last month.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has noted that China produces the raw materials for Mexico’s fentanyl production.
“China remains the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and … the main source for all fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States,” according to a DEA Intelligence Report from 2020.
President Joe Biden has cracked down on fentanyl trafficking. In April, the U.S. sanctioned two Chinese companies and charged 28 Mexican cartel members — including the sons of imprisoned drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán — for their alleged roles.
Biden also deployed 800 additional military members on Wednesday to assist with border security efforts.
But Greene, who previously spoke at white nationalist conferences and spread dangerous conspiracy theories, moved on to blame the U.S. government itself for “the invasion happening at our border.” She criticized the Biden administration for financing the Ukrainian war against Russia’s invasion while “ignoring” the U.S. border.
Kirk, who previously claimed the 2020 presidential election was stolen and has made a number of racist comments, echoed Greene’s drumbeats of war against Mexico with xenophobic dog whistles.
The host warned that Americans “don’t know who these people are” and mentioned that the migrants crossing the border are “not DNA tested” or “background checked” — and are “waltzing right into America to invade the country.”
Greene’s baffling idea to formally declare war against cartels proved unpopular on social media.