One of President Trump’s flagship projects is the border security barrier he hopes will protect our nation from criminals. Unfortunately, it’s tied down in a battle for funding that’s already seen the government shut down for a record length of time, and there’s no end in sight. Now a Texas senator has a great idea on where to get the billions of dollars required — take it from criminals.
A possible compromise bill aimed at passing the federal budget and averting another government shutdown could leave the border wall project short by billions of dollars. It’s possible President Trump could use executive orders to divert DoD and DHS funding to the wall — but there might be another way.
- Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is introducing a bill that would let cash seized from drug runners be used to build the barrier. The law, aimed specifically at a top-league trafficker known as “El Chapo,” could raise up to $14 billion — more than enough to secure our southern border.
- El Chapo, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman, is a Mexican citizen who ran a massive drug empire between 1989 and 2014. It’s alleged he made a vast fortune manufacturing heroin, cocaine and other drugs and smuggling them into the US.
- Guzman was arrested by Mexican marines and federal police in January 2016. Extradited to the USA in 2017, he was found guilty of 17 drug charges and is due to be sentenced in June.
- The US is working to confiscate as much of El Chapo’s money as agents can get their hands on, and it’s likely billions of dollars will be recovered.
- Now Cruz has introduced the EL CHAPO bill — Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order — to allow the drug baron’s money to be used for the wall. He said, “Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals across our southern border.”
- A similar bill introduced in the House, the BuildWall Act, would allow the general use of seized drug funds to build the wall. The difference with Cruz’s bill is that it’s specifically targeted at one of the richest drug lords of all. Ironically, if Guzman’s money is diverted to the border, it means Mexico could end up paying for the wall after all.