‘Make El Chapo pay for the wall’: Ted Cruz urges Senate to pass bill so that convicted Mexican drugs baron’s $14billion in ill-gotten gains can be used to finance border security

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
By Paul Martin

Senator Ted Cruz announced he is reintroducing the ‘EL CHAPO Act’
Bill proposes using Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s drug money to fund border wall
El Chapo was convicted in a Brooklyn federal court on all 10 counts in indictment, including drug trafficking and money laundering
Republicans and Democrats in Congress struck deal which provides $1.4billion to build 55 miles of fencing along the border
President Trump has sought $5.7billion toward construction of a border wall

13 February 2019

Senator Ted Cruz used the occasion of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s conviction in federal court on Tuesday to once again call for using the drug kingpin’s seized assets to fund the construction of President Trump’s promised wall along the Mexican border.

The Republican from Texas tweeted on Tuesday: ‘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.

‘Let’s pass the EL CHAPO Act and make El Chapo pay to secure our border.’

Cruz first proposed the idea in April 2017, while El Chapo was awaiting trial in New York.

The bill’s title, in addition to being the nickname of the infamous and recently extradited Joaquin Guzman, stands for Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order.

He reintroduced the bill last month. It has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

‘By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and other murderous drug lords, we can offset the cost of securing our border and make meaningful progress toward delivering on the promises made to the American people,’ Cruz said in a statement last month.

Cruz’s proposal calls for the U.S. government to seek $14billion from Guzman specifically, while also trying to get its hands on funds from other drug lords to cover the cost of building the wall and securing the border.

The $14billion is more than twice the amount – $5.7billion – that Trump wanted from Congress for wall funding.

Lawmakers tentatively agreed Monday night to a deal that would provide nearly $1.4 billion for 55 miles of border barriers, according to congressional aides.

The huge funding measure, which combines seven spending bills into one, would run through the fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

Details might not be released until Wednesday, but the pact came in time to alleviate any threat of a second partial government shutdown this weekend.

In 2017, Guzman was arrested and extradited to the United States to face charges related to running a massive drug trafficking operation that laundered billions of dollars and oversaw murders and kidnappings.

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