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Ted Cruz Proposes Using El Chapo's Drug Money To Fund Border Wall

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Texas Senator Ted Cruz has proposed legislation to use the seized assets of convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and other drug traffickers to fund the construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Cruz introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act on Jan. 3.

If passed, the act would allow the federal government to use money forfeited by El Chapo and other drug cartels, and direct those funds toward enhancing border security, including the completion of a border wall, CNN reported.

“It’s time to pass my EL CHAPO Act,” the Hill reported. “I urge my Senate colleagues to take swift action on this crucial legislation.” .

The proposal, which has circulated on numerous social media sites since January, came to light again only days after President Donald Trump attended a “Make America Great Again” rally in El Paso, and days after congressional leaders passed a tentative budget that included $1.4 billion to fund the border wall.

Yet it’s not the first time Cruz has offered the suggestion. He first floated the idea in 2017: “Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities,” Cruz said in a prepared statement at the time. “We must also be mindful of the impact on the federal budget. By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and his ilk, we can offset the wall’s cost and make meaningful progress toward achieving President Trump’s stated border security objectives.”

Related story: Ted Cruz Thinks ‘El Chapo’ Should Pay For Wall

The deal currently being offered that Trump is likely to sign falls far short of the more than $5 billion Trump said was needed to build the wall, but if federal prosecutors seize El Chapo’s fortune estimated at over $14 billion, there would be more than enough to fund the proposed wall.

El Chapo, who led the notorious Sinaloa Drug Cartel, was convicted this week by a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York of being a principal operator of a continuing criminal enterprise.

“The conviction of former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin Guzman Loera strips the power from a man who employed horrific acts of violence to infect communities, throughout the United States and abroad, with the venom of illicit drugs,” U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan said Tuesday.

The Mexican drug lord faces a mandatory life sentence without parole on a laundry list of charges including murder, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and corruption.

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Image: US Senate Portrait, Senator Ted Cruz

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