February 1, 2019

Cassidy Introduces Legislation to Secure the Border, Make Cartels Pay for it

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), today introduced the Securing the Border and Making Drug Cartels Pay for It Act (S. 293), legislation to pay for stronger border security measures using money seized, in part, from drug cartels.

“This money would have lined the pockets of criminals and international drug lords, but we can use it to secure our border and stop the flow of drugs,” said Dr. Cassidy. “It won’t be the American people paying for the wall, it’ll be the Mexican cartels, and that is poetic justice. The more we secure the border, the more illicit money we will capture, so it will actually compound our success. Republicans and Democrats agree strategic barriers work. If Pelosi won’t give a dollar to keep Americans safe, let’s take billions from the cartels.”

Every year, the Department of Treasury Forfeiture Fund (TFF) averages $842 million in revenue. Cassidy’s legislation would authorize the issuance of bonds in order to make billions of dollars available for immediate improvements to border security, including physical barriers, tactical infrastructure and technology. The bonds would be paid for over time by unobligated revenue in the TFF, which accrues as U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and other federal law enforcement agencies capture funds smuggled and laundered across the border by drug cartels and other nefarious activity.

Cassidy first proposed this idea last year.