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Brooks bill would use $14 billion in seized El Chapo funds for border wall

Brandon Moseley

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U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, has reintroduced a bill that reserves approximately $14 billion in assets seized by the U.S. government from the criminal prosecution of El Chapo for border security.

Brooks reintroduced the “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act,” or the “EL CHAPO Act,” House companion legislation to Sen. Ted Cruz’s Senate bill by the same name.

El Chapo is the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

The money would be used to construct a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Brooks sponsored the EL CHAPO Act in the 115th Congress as well.

The bill has more than 12 Republican cosponsors.

Democrats are refusing to fund the government if there is any funding for a border wall. President Donald Trump says that he will not sign any funding measure that does not fund the construction of the border wall. We are into day 34 of the shutdown and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has refused two compromise offers from Pres. Trump.

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“Radical Open Borders Democrats would rather shut down the government than provide taxpayer funding for a border wall that helps prevent thousands of American deaths each year,” said Brooks. “Fortunately, there are other ways to build a border wall, enhance border security, save American lives, and end the government shutdown that is slowly but sure hurting America’s economy and American citizens. Congress should end the shutdown by passing the EL CHAPO Act that, over time, funds border security and a border wall by using billions of dollars in seized drug and blood money profits from drug cartels and drug lords and reapplying those drug forfeiture monies to border security and construction of a border wall. The EL CHAPO Act kills two birds with one stone. On the one hand, it shifts drug and blood money to border security and a border wall, thus helping to save the lives of thousands of Americans who die each year at the hands of illegal aliens or because of America’s porous southern border. As a bonus, the passage of the EL CHAPO Act ends the battle over the government shutdown.”

Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera “El Chapo” “The Shorty” age 61 is a former drug lord and billionaire and was once the most powerful drug traffickers in the world. Tens of thousands have died in Mexico in the war between the cartels and the Mexican government. He was captured in Guatemala in 1993 and sentenced to 20 years for drug trafficking and murder; but bribed the prison guards and escaped. He was captured in Mexico in February 2014 but escaped again. He was captured for a third time in January 2016 and extradited to the United States for trial.”

“Walls have worked since the dawn of time,” Brooks added. “Ancient civilizations employed walls to keep their citizens and property safe from harm. Today, physical barriers and fencing surround America’s most secure locations— the White House, Fort Knox, the federal supermax prison in Colorado; all have high physical barriers around them. Why? Because they work. It is absurd for anyone to argue border walls are ineffective. Take the example of the Yuma, Arizona sector of the border, where border patrol agents have seen a 96 percent reduction in illegal alien apprehensions since a border wall was constructed in 2006. Along the San Diego sector of the border, before a wall was built, 100,000 illegal aliens were apprehended by border patrol a year. Post wall construction, the number of apprehensions dropped to 5,000 a year— a reduction of 95%. The fact is, border walls work.”

“America desperately needs a border wall. The United States averages a staggering 60,000 illegal border crossings per month,” Brooks stated. “I introduced the EL CHAPO Act in the House to divert approximately $14 billion in funds confiscated by prosecutors from drug lords like El Chapo to building the border wall. Drug lords smuggle deadly drugs across our border that ravage America. Roughly 15,000 Americans die each year from heroin overdoses alone – 90% of all heroin reaches America via our porous southern border (much of it transported by drug cartels and their illegal alien “mules”). We need to be doing everything we can to keep poisonous drugs out of our country and save American lives, and that means building the wall. America’s porous southern border poses a massive safety risk to American citizens. In FY 2017 and FY 2018, ICE officers arrested approximately 235,000 aliens on various criminal charges or convictions within the interior of the United States – including, on average each year, roughly 50,000 for assault, 15,000 for sex crimes, and 2,000 for homicides. In FY 2018, 17,000 adults at the border with existing criminal records were arrested by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and border agents. If illegal aliens will break our immigration laws, they will break other laws, too.”

“A border wall is a subpart of overall border security,” Brooks concluded. “It will not keep out all drugs or every illegal alien, but we owe it to the victims of drug overdoses and illegal alien crime to do absolutely everything in our power to stop illegal aliens and their drugs from coming across our southern border and killing thousands of Americans every year! The EL CHAPO Act funds a large portion of the border wall without using taxpayer dollars and provides an alternative funding mechanism for the border wall. With the EL CHAPO Act we can end the current impasse and resulting government shutdown. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer should listen to the American people and come to the negotiating table so we can secure our border.”

President Trump is urging Democrats in Congress to agree to a compromise that would fund the government and secure the border.

“To every member of Congress: Pass a bill that ends this crisis,” Pres. Trump said. “To every citizen: Call Congress and tell them to finally, after all of these decades, secure our border. This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice. This is about whether we fulfill our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve.”

Brooks has served in Congress, as a state Representative, a Madison County Commissioner, and as a prosecutor.

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