Ted Cruz wants El Chapo's seized billions to be spent on Trump's border wall with Mexico
Former drug lord El Chapo, whose real name is Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, was ordered to fork over billions after he was sentenced to life in prison on July 17.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz suggested Wednesday the southern border wall could be constructed using funds from the $13 billion recovered from Mexican drug lord El Chapo after his arrest.
El Chapo, whose real name is Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, was ordered to fork over billions after he was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.
In a short interview with TMZ, Cruz said that the US-Mexico border wall could be built using the $12.6 billion seized from El Chapo after he was convicted for drug trafficking.
"I think it's great that he's sentenced," Cruz said. "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."
While Cruz acknowledged it would be hard to track down and obtain the money from the 62-year-old drug kingpin, but said we must try our "very best" to do that.
"Finding those assets, getting those assets, won't be easy. But we should and the Department of Justice will do its very best to do that," he continued.
After having twice escaped from Mexican prisons, El Chapo was finally brought to the U.S. to stand trial for his crimes.
According to Cruz, there should be no question where the funds should be directed when they are obtained, after having introduced the EL CHAPO Act back in 2017.
Cruz reintroduced the legislation in January this year to help allocate the notorious druglord's money for the border wall construction.
"He made that money trafficking narcotics illegally into this country," Cruz said, "It's only fitting that that money goes to secure the border and stop other traffickers like he was."
The 48-year-old Republican firebrand said the president is "enthusiastic" about a pathway for funding of the southern wall. "The president – I've talked with him directly, and he's enthusiastic about the idea," he added.
President Trump has maintained that a strong border wall would undoubtedly stop the smuggling of drugs, humans and drastically reduce the influx of crime and illegal immigration. The commander-in-chief declared a national emergency at the southern border earlier this year, after locking horns with the Congress over border wall funding that eventually led to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
Many consider the border wall to be one of Trump's biggest campaign promises. According to conservative author Ann Coulter, his presidency would be deemed a failure if he didn't stay true to his promise.