After news broke that Joaquín Guzmán – aka El Chapo – was found guilty on all 10 counts following an 11-week trial, Senator Ted Cruz urged his colleagues to pass the El Chapo Act, which would have the drug kingpin fund the border wall. It’s not the first time he proposes the wall, but with the decision coming in on Tuesday, Cruz took the opportunity to reintroduce the bill.
“US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today reintroduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act,” a press release read. “The bill would reserve any amounts forfeited to the US Government as a result of the criminal prosecution of ‘El Chapo’ (formally named Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán [Loera]) and other drug lords for border security assets and the completion of the wall along the US-Mexico border.”
While some have shown their support for his proposed legislation, others are criticizing him because a border wall won’t stop drug smuggling. El Chapo’s drug case further reiterated this. Drugs were smuggled through secret tunnels or covertly through legal points of entry. Furthermore, most undocumented people don’t cross the border without documentation. Instead, they overstay their visas.
Despite this, Cruz states that the border wall will make a difference. “Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities,” he said. “Indeed, I have long called for building a wall as a necessary step in defending our border. Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way to secure our southern border, and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals. 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 has aligned with President Donald Trump, who has been unable to secure funding for his border wall from either Congress or Mexico, on several policies that target communities of color. Recently, when Trump said that El Paso became less dangerous after a border fence (it didn’t), Rep. Veronica Escobar called on him to stand up for the border cities of the state he represents. But with the El Chapo Act, he’s reiterating that he has no interest in doing that.