NEW YORK – Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas floated the possibility Tuesday of using the seized assets of convicted drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán to help build a wall at the southern border.
“America’s justice system prevailed today in convicting Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo, on all 10 counts,” Cruz told his Twitter followers. “U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits & other assets from El Chapo which should go towards funding our wall to #SecureTheBorder.”
Cruz’s tweet came moments after Guzmán was convicted of drug-trafficking charges Tuesday morning at a trial in New York. Witnesses detailed assassinations and political payoffs during the nearly three-month long trial. He was found guilty of trafficking over 440,000 pounds of cocaine and will likely have $14 billion in assets seized by U.S. officials
Cruz reintroduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act, or EL CHAPO Act, to Congress in January. The bill would designate any money and assets seized from the gangster and allocate them for the construction of a border wall.
President Donald Trump and Republicans have struggled during the past two months to secure funding for a wall as Democrats continue to blanch at such an offer. There are some signs of hope. Congressional negotiators announced a tentative deal Monday night that includes $1.375 billion in funding for a barrier.