When it comes to ways to pay for the U.S. border wall with Mexico, Alabama’s 5th District U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks certainly has a creative idea: use funds tied to the prosecution of Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
On Wednesday, Brooks reintroduced the “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act,” or the “EL CHAPO Act.” The EL CHAPO Act reserves approximately $14 billion in assets forfeited to the U.S. government as a result of the criminal prosecution of El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, as well as other drug lords, for border security funding – to include construction of the U.S.- Mexico border wall.
“Radical Open Borders Democrats would rather shut down the government than provide taxpayer funding for a border wall that helps prevent thousands of American deaths each year,” said Brooks. “Fortunately, there are other ways to build a border wall, enhance border security, save American lives, and end the government shutdown that is slowly but sure hurting America’s economy and American citizens.”
He continued, “Congress should end the shutdown by passing the EL CHAPO Act that, over time, funds border security and a border wall by using billions of dollars in seized drug and blood money profits from drug cartels and drug lords and reapplying those drug forfeiture monies to border security and construction of a border wall. The EL CHAPO Act kills two birds with one stone. On the one hand, it shifts drug and blood money to border security and a border wall, thus helping to save the lives of thousands of Americans who die each year at the hands of illegal aliens or because of America’s porous southern border. As a bonus, the passage of the EL CHAPO Act ends the battle over the government shutdown.”
Original cosponsors of the House version of the EL CHAPO Act are:
- Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05)
- Congressman Mike Bost (IL-12)
- Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-08)
- Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01)
- Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03)
- Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01)
- Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
- Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04)
- Congressman Mark Green (TN-07)
- Congressman Jody B. Hice (GA-10)
- Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-03)
- Congressman Steve King (IA-04)
- Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11)
- Congressman Ralph Norman (SC-05)
- Congressman Bill Posey (FL-08)
He added, “Walls have worked since the dawn of time. Ancient civilizations employed walls to keep their citizens and property safe from harm. Today, physical barriers and fencing surround America’s most secure locations— the White House, Fort Knox, the federal supermax prison in Colorado; all have high physical barriers around them. Why? Because they work. It is absurd for anyone to argue border walls are ineffective.”
The United States averages 60,000 illegal border crossings per month.
“The EL CHAPO Act funds a large portion of the border wall without using taxpayer dollars and provides an alternative funding mechanism for the border wall,” Brooks explained. “With the EL CHAPO Act we can end the current impasse and resulting government shutdown. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer should listen to the American people and come to the negotiating table so we can secure our border.”
Brooks sponsored the EL CHAPO Act in the 115th Congress as well. His bill is the House companion legislation to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s Senate bill by the same name.