Wood Co. Sheriff, Sen. Brown visit southern border

The Wood County Sheriff is back after taking a visit alongside Senator Sherrod Brown to the southern border.
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:10 PM EST
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MCALLEN, Texas (WTVG) - The Wood County Sheriff is back from a visit to the southern border alongside U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.

The two met with border patrol agents and local officials in Texas to get a look at how they’re trying to stop drugs from flowing into the United States.

Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn is a Republican and Sen. Sherrod Brown is a Democrat. They say their political parties didn’t matter for this trip.

They say what does matter is finding solutions to issues at the border that are having ripple effects at home.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn says he’s wanted to visit the southern border for a while to see first-hand the challenges faced by border patrol agents.

“It was very powerful,” said Wasylyshyn. “It was a tremendous amount of information. Very educational.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio also wanted to make the journey and invited Wasylyshyn to join him in McAllen, Texas over the weekend.

“I know a lot of sheriffs around the state, but he had this interest and it was the exact he was the exact right person to bring when I saw him close up in action for two days,” said Sen. Brown.

Wasylyshyn says one thing local sheriffs have in common with authorities in border counties is combatting fentanyl coming across the border.

“People are dying every day because of the fentanyl that’s being brought in by the by the cartels in through Mexico,” said Wasylyshyn. “They have absolutely no sympathy or empathy for any of the people to bring them across. They don’t care if they die in route, not their problem, because they get their money.”

Brown says the border should be a bipartisan issue but it doesn’t have just one simple solution.

“Presidents of both parties have failed at the border, they’ve not protected our country well enough,” said Sen. Brown. “And we need to direct more resources to the border to make sure that that people that don’t belong here, and particularly those those criminals send against the cartels, as the sheriff said, that have far too much hold and power over people in that part of the world.”

Brown is also calling on the House to pass his FEND Off Fentanyl Act, which imposes new sanctions and penalties targeting the illicit fentanyl supply chain.

“The most important thing we can do, keep this stuff out of our country, help local police deal with it and at the same time help local people who are addicted,” said Sen. Brown.

Of course, Brown is up for re-election next year. The Republicans in the race challenging him have also visited the border or made it key parts of their campaigns.

Brown said this visit wasn’t campaign-related, saying he’s worked on legislation addressing fentanyl for years.