President Donald Trump is asking Congress for $1.4 billion to fund the first phase of his wall on the U.S.' southern border with Mexico.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who arguably represents the biggest portion of that border, wants to give him $14 billion to give the project a quick start. And he not only has the plan, but the bill, that would ensure "Mexico pays for it."
Not the Mexican government, but one particular Mexican: the infamous "drug lord," Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Lorea, also known as El Chapo. On the day the president was inaugurated, the Department of Justice announced it was seeking to extradite Lorea and charge him with operating a continuing criminal enterprise and other drug-related crimes through his leadership of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel.
El Chapo is accused of being responsible for importing and distributing massive amounts of illegal narcotics and conspiring to murder anyone who posed a threat to his drug enterprise. Cruz's Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act—the El Chapo Act—would reserve any funds forfeited to the U.S. government as a result of the Lorea's criminal prosecution, and that of other drug lords, for border security assets and the completion of the president's border wall.
The federal government is currently seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from Lorea.
"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," Cruz said. "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."
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