Ted Cruz says he wants ‘every penny’ of Mexican crime boss El Chapo’s $12.6 billion fortune to be spent building President Trump’s controversial border wall.
Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas, comments came on Wednesday, following the imprisonment of Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera – aka ‘El Chapo’ – who will serve a life sentence for drug trafficking. The 62-year-old drug kingpin will also have to cough up billions as a result.
According to TMZ, Ted Cruz said the new ruling is ‘great’ and El Chapo’s colossal fortune could be used to fund President Trump’s long-proposed southern border wall between Mexico and the United States.
Trump insisted ‘Mexicans will pay for’ his extensive ‘big, beautiful’ border wall during the 2016 presidential race. Despite being one of the president’s biggest campaign promises, it is still under construction.
Despite being one of his most vocal competitors in the presidential race, Cruz has long backed President’s Trump’s border wall plans.
In a brief interview on Capitol Hill, the Republican official said to TMZ:
I think it’s great that he’s sentenced. I think the next step is to criminally forfeit his entire global criminal enterprise. It’s worth billions. And we should use every penny of that money to build the wall and secure the border.’
El Chapo, long considered one of the most powerful drug traffickers in the world, was arrested and brought to the U.S after he escaped from two Mexican prisons. He is noted by The New York Times as ‘a brutal Mexican cartel leader, a wily trafficker who smuggled more than $12 billion worth of drugs and plunged his country into a long-running tragedy of bloodshed and corruption’.
US officials are celebrating El Chapo’s demise as a ‘triumph for the war on drugs’.
Cruz believes funding a stronger Mexican border is the most ‘fitting’ use for El Chapo’s funds, he said to TMZ:
He made that money trafficking narcotics illegally into this country, ‘it’s only fitting that that money goes to secure the border and stop other traffickers like he was.
Although Cruz understands seizing all of the crime lord’s funds will be difficult:
Finding those assets, getting those assets, won’t be easy. But we should and the Department of Justice will do it’s very best to do that.
It’s not the first time Cruz has set sights on El Chapo’s capital to fund Trump’s Wall, reports MailOnline. In 2017, he launched the EL CHAPO act, ‘which didn’t go very far’.
Trump is ‘enthusiastic’ about the ‘new pathway to fund the wall’.
The president – I’ve talked with him directly, and he’s enthusiastic about the idea.
Trump proposed the border wall back in 2016, in line with his firm stance on immigration. He claims the wall, approximately 336 miles long and as per BBC News costing in the region of $12bn to $70bn, will help stop drug trafficking, human trafficking, and crime from crossing the border into the US.
Widespread criticism from experts suggests it will not.
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L’Oréal Blackett is a freelance journalist, broadcaster, and presenter with a lot of hair and a lot to say. A former digital magazine editor covering women’s issues and local news, she now works for a range of media publications including BBC Radio Manchester, Bumble and of course, UNILAD.