Who needs Mexico to pay for the border wall when you have El Chapo?
That’s the latest funding idea to build the 1,000 mile-long (1600km) barrier between the U.S. and Mexico from Alabama 5th District U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks and his Senate colleague Texas-Republican Ted Cruz.
On Thursday, Brooks filed companion House legislation to a bill that Cruz recently introduced in the Senate. H.R. 2186, the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act, would reserve approximately $14 billion in potential assets forfeited to the United States Government as a result of the criminal prosecution of Joaquin Guzman (aka El Chapo), the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, as well as other drug lords, for border security funding – to include the completion of the wall along the U.S.- Mexican border.
Brooks, a long-time immigration advocate who has called for the deportation of all illegal immigrants says the bill is a “significant step” toward funding President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.
“No nation can exist without borders and the EL CHAPO Act, which would reserve billions in assets forfeited to the U.S. Government by drug kingpins to be used for border security, is a significant step towards funding President Trump’s border wall, thereby restoring America’s control of her borders,” Brooks said in a press release.
“I commend Senator Cruz for sponsoring this financially responsible solution which promotes American security by minimizing the trafficking of drugs and weapons across our southern border.”
Cruz echoed Brooks’ sentiments.
“Ensuring the safety and security of Texans and all Americans is one of my top priorities and I am glad to work with Mo in this important effort,” said Cruz. “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.
El Chapo is currently facing charges in the U.S. after having famously escaped twice from prison in Mexico. He faces a 17-count indictment in the U.S. related to narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and murder.
“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, all while easing the impact on our federal budget,” Cruz added.
Brooks’ House colleagues Reps. Kevin Brady (TX-08), Tom Garrett (VA-05), Steve King (IA-04) and Louie Gohmert (TX-01) all signed on as original cosponsors of the EL CHAPO Act.