MIDLAND, TX. (KMID/KPEJ) – Wednesday’s border security roundtable in Midland was laser-focused on fentanyl and the role Gov. Abbott says Mexican drug cartels play bringing the deadly drug into our country.

“Most fentanyl in Texas is made by Mexican drug cartels who add fentanyl onto other drugs. Many of the pills look like real pain killers or stimulants or anti-anxiety drugs. But even worse is what’s called ‘rainbow fentanyl.’ It’s made to look like candy so that young children will take it,” said Gov. Abbott.

The governor says that right now, the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45 is fentanyl overdoses, which is why he’s directing Texas law enforcement to look at foreign drug cartels as more than just criminals.

“Today, I have issued this executive order designating cartels as terrorists in Texas, and directing the Texas Department of Public Safety to take immediate action to, among other things, identify gangs that are supporting Mexican cartels and work to seize assets as well as disrupt cartel networks,” said Gov. Abbott.

The governor also says that Texas needs help in the fight against fentanyl, and that he has sent a letter to the president and vice president asking them to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorists as well.