U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz wants funds seized from El Chapo, and other drug lords, to pay for the border wall.
On Tuesday, Cruz introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act that would "reserve any amounts forfeited to the U.S. Government as a result of the criminal prosecution of “El Chapo” (formally named Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Lorea) and other drug lords for border security assets and the completion of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border."
In a statement Tuesday, Cruz said the U.S. government is seeking the criminal forfeiture of $14 billion in drug proceeds from El Chapo.
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“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,” said Cruz. “Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities. 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.”
El Chapo is the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel who escaped a Mexican prison in July 2015 before being recaptured in January 2016 and extradited to a U.S. prison in January 2017. He's expected to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering.