Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas floated the possibility Tuesday of using the seized assets of convicted drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán to help build a wall at the southern border.
“America’s justice system prevailed today in convicting Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo, on all 10 counts,” Cruz told his Twitter followers. “U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits & other assets from El Chapo which should go towards funding our wall to #SecureTheBorder.”
America’s justice system prevailed today in convicting Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo, on all 10 counts. U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits & other assets from El Chapo which should go towards funding our wall to #SecureTheBorder. https://t.co/hPwEUVM6SP
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 12, 2019
Cruz’s tweet came moments after Guzmán was convicted of drug-trafficking charges Tuesday morning at a trial in New York. Witnesses detailed assassinations and political payoffs during the nearly three-month long trial. He was found guilty of trafficking over 440,000 pounds of cocaine and will likely have $14 billion in assets seized by U.S. officials. (RELATED: The El Chapo Trial Starts Tuesday. Here’s What You Need To Know)
Cruz reintroduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act, or EL CHAPO Act, to Congress in January. The bill would designate any money and assets seized from the gangster and allocate them for the construction of a border wall.
President Donald Trump and Republicans have struggled during the past two months to secure funding for a wall as Democrats continue to blanch at such an offer. There are some signs of hope. Congressional negotiators announced a tentative deal Monday night that includes $1.375 billion in funding for a barrier.
“It’s time to pass the El Chapo Act, legislation that Sen. Cruz has introduced, which would use El Chapo’s massive $14 billion fortune subject to criminal asset forfeiture to secure the border and build the wall,” a spokesman in Cruz’s office said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Stopping narcotics traffickers like El Chapo from crossing the border using El Chapo’s illicitly obtained fortune – and not American taxpayer dollars – would be an act of poetic justice and a common-sense solution to securing the border,” he added.
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