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senate Bill S. 1373

Should Specially-Trained U.S. Postal Workers Search Mail from Foreign Countries for Illegal Drugs Like Fentanyl?

Argument in favor

Fentanyl is a major contributor to America’s deadly opioid crisis, causing thousands of deaths a year. It’s necessary to do everything we can to prevent it from entering the U.S., including trying to detect mail packages with illegal shipments of this deadly drug.

Cherie65's Opinion
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08/17/2019
You betcha! And, let's grab those herbs that mimic drugs that are laced with all kinds of poisons, especially from China. They have a nasty one that's like fentanyl. China is not our friend.
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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08/17/2019
House Bill H.R. 784 AKA the Search Now, Inspect for Fentanyl (SNIFF) Act I recommend and support the passage of the House Bill H.R. 784 AKA the Search Now, Inspect for Fentanyl (SNIFF) Act which would 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. Only mail from foreign countries addressed to the U.S. would be subject to being searched, and only after probable cause is established.  Fentanyl is a major contributor to America’s deadly opioid crisis, causing thousands of deaths a year. It’s necessary to do everything we can to prevent it from entering the U.S., including trying to detect mail packages with illegal shipments of this deadly drug. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻👍🏻H.R.784 👍🏻👍🏻. 8.16.19..........
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Jim2423's Opinion
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08/17/2019
It is a federal office. Postal Officials should have the authority to inspect ALL mail for illegal materials. You only pay to have your mail hopefully delivered to the address. Nothing in there is exempt from inspection with suspicion. They are federal employees and should have the right to search mail for illegal material.
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Argument opposed

The U.S. Postal Service is already overwhelmed when it comes to package inspection, so it’s unlikely that this bill will change the Postal Service’s inspection procedures enough to reduce the inflow of illegal drugs like fentanyl.

burrkitty's Opinion
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08/17/2019
Illegal search and seizure. Get drug dogs.
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Loretta's Opinion
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08/17/2019
Pardon me...the US post OFFICE is already doing that... lets have our Republican friends work on BANNING MILITARY WEAPONS SALES TO CIVILIANS ...
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I.Got.an.Idea...'s Opinion
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08/17/2019
Only search packages going to Republicans. Republicans are the most corrupt and are the largest drug dealers and abusers. George H W Bush and Oliver North were responsible for importing all of the cocaine to support the Nicaraguan War and created the crack cocaine epidemic that put more black people in prison than any other conservative oppression against minorities and the poor.
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What is Senate Bill S. 1373?

This bill — the Search Now, Inspect for Fentanyl (SNIFF) Act — would 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. Only mail from foreign countries addressed to the U.S. would be 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 in New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Impact

Mail; foreign mail coming into the U.S.; fentanyl shipments through U.S. mail; and International Service Centers in New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1373

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress 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

“Fentanyl is flooding our streets and killing Americans. Right now, if a postal worker at a U.S. International Service Center suspects a package contains illegal drugs, they can’t do a thing about it. This bill improves our ability to intercept drugs before they take more lives in Louisiana and around the country.”

When he introduced this bill in the 115th Congress, Sen. Cassidy said

“China is the main source of the lethal drug fentanyl that is flooding our streets and killing Americans. 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.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) adds

“Right now, illicit drugs, like fentanyl, meth and illegal opioids, are being mailed into America from other countries. We need stronger tools to stop this and our bipartisan legislation will help prevent the flow of these drugs, like fentanyl being shipped from China. Wisconsin has seen a spike in fentanyl-related overdose deaths and in Milwaukee County alone, we had 188 confirmed fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2018. We must take action and do more to stop illegal, foreign fentanyl from entering our country through international mail facilities.”

In other comments, Sen. Baldwin said, “We've gotta make sure that our postal service and customs and border patrol agencies have the ability to search and try to protect us in that way.”

This bill has one cosponsor, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Sen. Baldwin was also this bill’s sole cosponsor in the 115th Congress, when it didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteFentanyl — a powerful and deadly synthetic opioid analgesic similar to morphine, but 50-100 times more potent than morphine and up to 50 times more powerful than heroin — is often added to heroin. This causes users to experience a stronger effect than they’d planned, often leading to an overdose. As proof of this, the Drug Enforcement Association (DEA) reported that fentanyl was present in 67 percent of the 5,456 drug overdoses in Pennsylvania in 2017. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 29,418 Americans died from fentanyl overdoses in 2017up by 840 from 2012

A nearly yearlong bipartisan Senate investigation found that hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of fentanyl (and likely other drugs) is entering the U.S. through international mail each year. The report looked at just six online sellers offering fentanyl, all of which were found through a simple Google search, and verified the ability to send hundreds of packages to over 300 U.S.-based individuals, largely through the U.S. Postal Service. Due to this finding, the report called on CBP to ramp up the number of packages it targets for inspection, with an emphasis on illegal drugs and for USPS to automate the process for turning over targeted packages

Currently, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) inspects international mail at five different international shipping centers. However, its job is getting increasingly difficult due to high package volume. In 2017, over 498 million international packages were shipped through through USPS alone — a significant increase from about 275 million in 2016.

The USPS says it uses a combination of “specialized technology, screening protocols, and employee training” to screen mail. However, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) website acknowledges that “the overwhelming volume of mail does not permit the Postal Service to screen every piece."


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / hillwoman2)

AKA

SNIFF Act

Official Title

A bill to require the United States Postal Service to enter into an agreement with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to train employees of the Postal Service to identify illicit packages.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    IntroducedMay 8th, 2019
    You betcha! And, let's grab those herbs that mimic drugs that are laced with all kinds of poisons, especially from China. They have a nasty one that's like fentanyl. China is not our friend.
    Like (13)
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    Illegal searches will not be tolerated!
    Like (37)
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    Illegal search and seizure. Get drug dogs.
    Like (33)
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    Isn’t there a better way? Drug sniffing dogs?
    Like (31)
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    Pardon me...the US post OFFICE is already doing that... lets have our Republican friends work on BANNING MILITARY WEAPONS SALES TO CIVILIANS ...
    Like (28)
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    Only search packages going to Republicans. Republicans are the most corrupt and are the largest drug dealers and abusers. George H W Bush and Oliver North were responsible for importing all of the cocaine to support the Nicaraguan War and created the crack cocaine epidemic that put more black people in prison than any other conservative oppression against minorities and the poor.
    Like (20)
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    I thought this was already being done for suspicious packages for bio toxins, mail bombs, and the like. I recall a friend who had another friend from India ship him a vase in which marijuana was hidden- my friend was arrested due to findings from postal inspectors. What is different here? It is not clear to me why current methods are insufficient to detect fentanyl. Is this another meaningless proposal to get Election Day ‘creds’ for tough legislation- even though it is effectively meaningless? It would appear to be the case, but I am unclear. If this is simply legislation to fund more inspectors and better detection tech- just say so!
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    Not without a search warrant Based on probable cause and issued by a judge.
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    What I'm reading is the admittance of failure in the government war on drugs, which has cost taxpayers billions. Now they are promising to make us safer if only we would give up a little liberty.
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    House Bill H.R. 784 AKA the Search Now, Inspect for Fentanyl (SNIFF) Act I recommend and support the passage of the House Bill H.R. 784 AKA the Search Now, Inspect for Fentanyl (SNIFF) Act which would 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. Only mail from foreign countries addressed to the U.S. would be subject to being searched, and only after probable cause is established.  Fentanyl is a major contributor to America’s deadly opioid crisis, causing thousands of deaths a year. It’s necessary to do everything we can to prevent it from entering the U.S., including trying to detect mail packages with illegal shipments of this deadly drug. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻👍🏻H.R.784 👍🏻👍🏻. 8.16.19..........
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    What!? We can't be free because you have to protect us from ourselves? This is just Big Brother.
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    Illegal search & seizure. Sounds like a good idea but is it constitutional? Our rights are rapidly being eroded.
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    We already have the perfect solution that’s called drug stiffing dogs, plus isn’t this idea illegal search and seizer. Using alternate means for treatment such as CBD or THC to treat pain instead of opioids which we all know are extremely addictive would benefit our citizens dealing with opioid addiction and chronic pain.
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    Educate Americans on the dangers of foreign poison and legalize domestic cannabis.
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    It is a federal office. Postal Officials should have the authority to inspect ALL mail for illegal materials. You only pay to have your mail hopefully delivered to the address. Nothing in there is exempt from inspection with suspicion. They are federal employees and should have the right to search mail for illegal material.
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    The postal institution delivers mail. If you want to detect drugs that’s DEA. Hire more inspectors. Stop being cheap.
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    WTF, are you out of your minds???? We have an entire federal agency called the ATF who should be doing any and all searching of mail from overseas. As of said many times on this website, who the hell comes up with these questions?
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    People still have rights to privacy. Looking over every piece of mail, with out cause is wayyyyyy over reach.
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    Isn’t that illegal search and seizure?
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    I fully support and recommend passage of this bill as written. This should not only involve the postal service but the DEA and Border Patrol who are highly trained to find drugs. #MAGA
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