With Washington, D.C., at odds over funding for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has a unique proposal to solve the issue.
According to a release from Sen. Cruz's office, the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act (EL CHAPO Act) would use assets seized from drug lords to help fund the proposed wall.
With prosecutors seeking to seize $14 billion from Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, Cruz's bill would make a dent in the steep cost of financing a wall to seal off America's southern border.
“$14 billion 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.
Cruz also explained that his bill would alleviate the impact that a wall would have on the federal budget:
“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.”
Although estimates of the cost of the proposed wall have varied greatly, according to an internal Homeland Security report Reuters received in February, the wall is likely to cost around $21.6 billion. Cruz's proposal would not finance the entirety of the project, but it would certainly account for a sizable portion of the overall cost.
“El Chapo” was extradited to New York on January 19, 2017. Charged with numerous different crimes associated with his leadership of the infamous Sinaloa cartel, Loera is likely to face life imprisonment.