When it comes to constructing a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, one GOP member of Congress is offering a suggestion on how to get the funds for it.
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) wrote a Fox News op-ed published on Tuesday in which he suggested that Congress divert the funds made by Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera to help secure the U.S. southern border.
El Chapo is a convicted drug lord who will be sentenced on Tuesday to a lifetime in prison after smuggling loads of drugs into the U.S. and being found guilty in February on 10 counts.
“It’s time to put his confiscated assets to work building a wall at the southern border with Mexico,” Buchanan said.
The Republican lawmaker’s remarks come as the southern border sees a continued surge of migrants, leaving Democrats in Congress butting heads with President Donald Trump over additional funds as border services’ funds are running low.
When questioning where the drug money will go, roughly $14 billion, once El Chapo is in prison, Buchanan looks to Congress to pass the “El Chapo Act” — a proposal initially introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). This would “divert billions of dollars’ worth of his seized assets for a much-needed purpose — to help secure the Southern border.”
“With the end of El Chapo’s reign of wreaking havoc on the American and Mexican people, we have a real opportunity to use his assets to save lives,” Buchanan said. “Time for Congress to get the El CHAPO Act to President Trump’s desk.”
Buchanan’s call comes after Cruz told IJR in February that after proposing the El Chapo Act, he discussed it with Trump, who “has said that he’s strongly supportive.”
Cruz said the “elegant solution” is to “use El Chapo’s ill-gotten gains, that he got by crossing the border illegally, trafficking narcotics into this country, and to use those billions to pay for preventing future narco-traffickers or human traffickers from continuing to cross the border illegally.”